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  Did you know most women are short changing their bodies' need for iron? Meeting your daily iron needs is important for building healthy red blood cells, which can help you maintain energy.
 

Cream of Wheat recently conducted a survey which showed that there's a big gap between what women think they're consuming in the way of iron and reality.


The survey discovered that 55 percent of women between the ages of 19 and 50 believe they consume at least 18 mg of iron a day, which is the recommended daily value. Yet, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only 10 percent of women in that age range actually get that amount of iron on a daily basis.
  1. That one serving of Cream of Wheat supplies nearly half of the daily value of iron.
  2. That one serving of Cream of Wheat supplies 20% of the daily value for calcium and up to 70% when prepared with fat free milk.
  3. That Vitamin C helps to enhance the amount of iron the body can absorb.
  4. That about 25% of children aged 4-8 are not getting the recommended amount of iron in their diets.
  5. That only half of all women eat breakfast every morning - and that 40% of those don't eat breakfast because they don't have time.
  6. More than half of all women think they get enough calcium in their diets, but in actuality, 9 out of 10 women are not getting the recommended level of calcium

Elizabeth Somer, Registered Dietitian and Author of Age-Proof Your Body and Nutrition for a Healthy Pregnancy , says optimal iron status helps promote health and well being throughout all life stages, including pregnancy. A healthy diet rich in iron can help people meet their daily needs. Cream of Wheat, an excellent source of iron, can help promote healthy iron stores. It is a great choice that can help women meet the RDA for iron.

"Women's iron needs are high and their food intake is usually moderate to low. They think they're doing fine by including an iron-rich food here and there, but they must be much more aggressive than that every day to reach their iron quota," says Somer.

Oddly enough, the Cream of Wheat survey also discovered that pregnant women are less informed about the need for added iron intake during pregnancy than non-pregnant women. Specifically, 72 percent of non-pregnant women were aware that iron intake should be 1.5 times the recommended daily value during pregnancy, whereas only 65 percent of those currently pregnant were aware.

There are many easy and good tasting ways to increase your iron intake on a regular basis. Foods such as extra-lean meat, dark leafy vegetables and enriched grains are all good sources of iron - as are fortified cereals such as Cream of Wheat.


Education Research sponsored by Cream of Wheat conducted the survey August 1-16, 2002. More than 1,400 respondents participated in the survey, with a margin of error of +/- 4 percent.
   
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