If you’ve had an abortion, your body has experienced the changes of pregnancy and the added nutritional burden of supporting a fetus. Your use of calcium, iron and vitamin B9, or folate, may have increased. Following a medical or surgical abortion procedure, you may experience prolonged or heavy bleeding, reducing your body levels of iron and vitamins B12, B9 and B2, or riboflavin. To reduce your risk for anemia and osteoporosis, your diet should maintain nutritional balance among all the foods groups and emphasize iron, B vitamins and calcium.
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Your body also needs dietary protein in order to make new blood cells, and protein foods contain many of the other nutrients that will improve your blood count after an abortion. Three ounces of fish, shellfish, beef, pork, chicken, lamb, turkey and cooked dry beans and peas all provide high protein and significant amounts of iron and B vitamins. To remain at a healthy weight, eat one to two servings daily of protein foods with less fat, including tuna, cod, beef sirloin and skinless chicken. The National Women’s Health Information Center reports that some research indicates that eating fish may alleviate depression during and after pregnancy.
Low-fat dairy products satisfy many of your lingering needs from an ended pregnancy while keeping your calorie intake low. Support the calcium stores in your bones and teeth, and increase your intakes of vitamin D for calcium absorption and all of the relevant B vitamins with two to three 1-cup servings of milk.
Unlike vitamin and mineral supplements, some brands of fortified cereal provide 100 percent of the daily values of iron and vitamin B as well as protein, dietary fiber and other important nutrients. Low-sugar whole-grain cereals such as wheat bran flakes are also low in calories in order to promote weight control. Additional grain foods to eat for similar nutrition include brown rice, whole-wheat bread and oatmeal. Follow the portion guides on package labels for six to eight daily servings.
Vegetables and Fruit
These two food groups supply the remainder of your vitamin and mineral requirements as well as dietary fiber to improve your digestive quality and encourage nutrient absorption. Eat four to five servings each of fruits and vegetables in one-half to 1-cup portions. The U.S. Department of Agriculture considers red, orange and green vegetables, such as tomatoes, carrots and broccoli, and whole fruits rather than juiced fruits, the most nutrient-dense-per-calorie in these categories.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- National Institutes of Health; Surgical Abortion; June 2011
- National Heart Lung and Blood Institute; Anemia; August 2010
- National Institutes of Health; Protein in Diet; July 2009
- American Heart Association; How Do I Follow a Healthy Diet?; August 2010
- USDA; Dietary Guidelines for Americans; December 2010