pregnancy and anemia

anemia is a common problem during pregnancy, and even if your blood tests do not show it make sure to ask your OB/Midwife where you are on the anemia scale, if you are close they may not even say anything to you, but before you get to the point of taking iron supplements there are a few simple recipes that worked very well for me, and also the friends that I have passed them onto...I hope that they can help, but if your condition is extreme you should work with your OB/Midwife so that they know what is going on, but in general I have found that anemia can usually be healed through your food.

-eat steamed greens, I really craved these for breakfast with both of my kids, but you can eat them at any and every meal...

steamed kale with sunflower seeds
steam your kale, be sure not to over-cook, I steam perfectly when I start with cold water and a steamer, then as soon as I hear the water come to a boil I shut off the flame and let sit for a couple minutes and your greens should turn bright green (kale, mustard greens or better yet, daikon greens) in general you should cook with less oil and then keep a very good bottle of organic olive oil just to use as a condiment, on top, the more delicious the smell the better the taste. while you are waiting for your greens to steam, toast sunflower seeds in an iron skillet (dry) until they smell toasty and add a little bit of seasalt! just sprinkle them on top of your perfectly steamed greens and yum...

miso soup with daikon and wakame
4-5 cups water
1 cup sliced daikon
1/4-1/2 cup wakame, washed, soaked and sliced
barley miso
sliced scallions
place water, daikon and wakame in a pot. bring to a boil. cover and reduce the flame to medium-low. simmer until the daikon is very soft. reduce the flame to very low and add a small amount of barley miso to make a mild tasting soup. simmer 2-3 minutes longer. place in individual serving bowls and garnish with sliced scallions.

adzuki beans, squash and kombu
1 strip kombu, 6-8" long
1 cup adzuki beans, soaked 6-8 hours
1 cup kabocha squash, leaving the skin on the squash and cut into slices (or carrots in the summertime)
sea salt
place kombu on the bottom of the pot, and place the squash next then the adzuki beans on top of the squash. add water to just cover the squash. bring to a boil. cover and reduce the flame to low and simmer until the beans are about 80 percent done which will take about 2 hours. if additional water is needed while cooking, add only enough water to the squash and not the beans. when 80 percent done, season with a little sea salt and continue to cook until the beans are completely soft. (soaked wheat berries, fresh or dried lotus root, soaked, or soaked lotus seeds can be cooked with adzuki beans in the same manner as above. in this case add water to cover the beans.)

try one or all of these dishes to help make your blood stronger, if you have trouble finding any of these items in your local store you can check at the kushi online store and they may have them. I found these recipes in a wonderful book called Macrbiotic Pregnancy and Care of the Newborn by Michio and Aveline Kushi(it's out of print but you can find used ones on amazon)

if you are required to use an iron supplement a good one that should not give you constipation is Floradix with iron, it combines herbs with iron which makes it more digestible. which you can find at whole foods or any co-op (or online here).