This is not medical advice. Always follow the advice of your health care provider. If you have concerns about your iron levels, discuss it with your doctor.

What nutrients do you need more of during pregnancy?

Everyone needs a nutritious diet, but when you’re expecting a child, what you eat becomes even more important. The quality of your diet can affect your growing baby, and your own nutrition needs increase, too.

Good to know: All the nutrients in orange are found in beef.2

Why focus on iron?

Iron is vital for a healthy pregnancy—for both mother and baby.3 According to the World Health Organization, low iron is the only nutrient deficiency that remains prevalent in industrialized countries today.4 Recent Canadian research shows iron deficiency is more common in Canada than we thought.5
Many Canadian women of childbearing age are not getting enough dietary iron

During pregnancy, iron needs jump by 50%

Some pregnant women may need more iron than others. Talk to your health care provider to find out how much iron is right for you and how to manage the side effects of iron supplements.
Make preparing iron-packed meals easier (now and when baby joins the family) with the convenience of Big Batch Beef. Use a couple scoops of Big Batch Beef from the freezer to fortify nourish bowls, soups, quesadillas, pasta sauce, tacos, mac and cheese, and more.

Research spotlight

Recent Canadian research shows eating beef is the strongest dietary predictor of iron status in women.10 Ideally, aim to eat a variety of nourishing animal and plant-based foods containing iron each day.
Try this delicious and satisfying Steakhouse Skewer and Kale Caesar Salad.
When planning meals, the type and amount of dietary iron matters.

Five ways to boost your iron

  1. Eat a variety of iron-rich foods from both animal and plant sources at most meals.
  2. Prioritize foods with well-absorbed heme iron (meat, poultry, seafood).
  3. Boost the non-heme iron you absorb from plant sources by pairing them with meat, poultry and seafood and/or foods that contain vitamin C (e.g., broccoli, red peppers, citrus fruits, potatoes).
  4. Wait 1 to 2 hours after a meal before drinking tea or coffee or taking calcium supplements. These can interfere with iron absorption.
  5. Prepare foods in cast-iron cookware. Moist, acidic foods cooked slowly will absorb the most iron from the cast iron. Try chili, stew and spaghetti sauce.

Easy, Delicious Recipes and Dietitian-Developed Resources Are Just a Click Away!

Click For References
  1.  Institute of Medicine (US) Panel on Micronutrients. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2001. 9, Iron. Available from:
  2. Sources: Health Canada. Canadian Nutrient File, 2015. Food Code Beef 6172 (composite cuts, steak/roast, lean and fat, cooked). Choline value from U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Services. FoodData Central, 2019.
  3. Georgieff MK. Iron deficiency in pregnancy. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2020 Oct;223(4):516-524. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2020.03.006. Epub 2020 Mar 14. PMID: 32184147; PMCID: PMC7492370.
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2021.
  5. Cooper M, Bertinato J, Ennis JK, Sadeghpour A, Weiler HA, Dorais V. Population Iron Status in Canada: Results from the Canadian Health Measures Survey 2012-2019. J Nutr. 2023 May;153(5):1534-1543. doi: 10.1016/j.tjnut.2023.03.012. Epub 2023 Mar 12. PMID: 36918146
  6. Teichman J, Nisenbaum R, Lausman A, Sholzberg M. Suboptimal iron deficiency screening in pregnancy and the impact of socioeconomic status in a high-resource setting. Blood Adv. 2021 Nov 23;5(22):4666-4673. doi: 10.1182/bloodadvances.2021004352. PMID: 34459878; PMCID: PMC8759118.
  7.  BC Guidelines. Iron Deficiency – Diagnosis and Management. April 2019. Accessed on February 25, 2024.
  8.  Hytten F. Blood volume changes in normal pregnancy. Clin Haematol. 1985 Oct;14(3):601-12. PMID: 4075604.
  9. Shao J, Lou J, Rao R, Georgieff MK, Kaciroti N, Felt BT, Zhao ZY, Lozoff B. Maternal serum ferritin concentration is positively associated with newborn iron stores in women with low ferritin status in late pregnancy. J Nutr. 2012 Nov;142(11):2004-9. doi: 10.3945/jn.112.162362. Epub 2012 Sep 26. PMID: 23014493; PMCID: PMC3498973.
  10. Engelmann MD, Davidsson L, Sandström B et al. The influence of meat on nonheme iron absorption in infants. Pediatr Res. 1998 Jun;43(6):768-73. doi: 10.1203/00006450-199806000-00009. PMID: 9621986.
  11. Health Canada. Prenatal Nutrition Guidelines for Health Professionals. Background on Canada’s Food Guide. 2009.


Beef Cooking Tools

  • Limit of one spin per day. Come back every day for a new chance to win.
  • Limit of one (1) win within the Giveaway period (ends June 24, 2024), per participant.