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Food Science Research

Food Science Research

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Many pregnant women have challenges of meeting their daily dietary needs, let alone iron dietary needs. Anemia is a major public health problem in sub-Saharan Africa where prevalence is as high as 75%. Anemia, even when mild, is associated with reduced work productivity taking into account that African women perform a lot house chores sometimes up to time of delivery . Anemia in pregnancy has serious health consequences both to the mother and the fetus. It may cause maternal death, and for the fetus it may result in intrauterine growth retardation, still birth and low birth weight. It is therefore our responsibility as public health professionals to identify vegetarian foods that are rich in iron. This is necessitated by the fact that most African foods are cereal based. Cereals are sources of non-heme iron which is not readily absorbed without the use of absorption enhancers. We would be doing a great service to save lives of mothers and infants if we educate mothers on the way to get maximum dietary iron from cereal based foods. Heme iron sources, which are readily absorbed, are expensive and in most cases out of reach of rural mothers. Lets keep the spirit burning to save lives.
Dietary Iron Intake in Third Trimester of Pregnancy