When you’re struggling with anemia, it’s important to have a balanced diet and include iron-rich foods. It can be difficult to start a fresh new diet while ensuring that it doesn’t take a toll on your everyday life. However, we are here to the rescue! With our easy tips, you will be following an iron-rich diet in no time – no sweat!
What Is Anemia?
The word Anemia is derived from Greek and can be translated as “Lack of Blood.” Anemia is the medical term that describes a condition where the person’s body does not have the right amount of red blood cells.
Did you know that around 25% of the world’s population suffers from anemia at some point in their lifetime?
An anemic person feels fatigued, dizzy has a fast heartbeat and experiences shortness of breath. There are many reasons why this may happen like perhaps the blood cells aren’t being produced in the first place, or why you are losing them. While some popular reasons could be too heavy menstrual bleeding or even to ulcers, some cancers or intestinal issues. It has also been found that a lack of vitamin B-12, as well as folate, are related to anemia.
If you’re someone who enjoys a glass of refreshing fruit juice to jump start your system with your breakfast, then start your day with a juice that’s rich in iron. A simple, but effective, substitute! Also, look for iron-fortified cereals. Refrain from pairing your breakfast (or any other meal) with tea or coffee, as these hot beverages sare responsible for inhibiting iron absorption! Some fruit options that you have are oranges, berries, and kiwi.
For lunch, it’s good to enjoy something light yet filling, like a smoked salmon or a roast beef slice, which you can enjoy in a bagel with some chopped greens like kale or spinach in place of lettuce. Of course, look for iron-enriched bread to bump things up!
Toss a small pack of nuts and seeds in your lunchbox to nibble on until dinner time, which will provide you with a little more iron to take you closer to your daily quota.
Whipping up dinner is a simple task if you know you have beans, lentils, greens, organ meats, tuna, haddock, perch, and halibut to choose from. Pair these high iron foods with foods high in vitamin C, like citrus, strawberries or watermelon, and foods high in beta carotene, like bell peppers, carrots, apricots and more, to boost iron absorption.
What To Avoid
When you’re putting all this effort into following a diet rich in iron, it won’t do you any good to defeat the purpose by eating foods that will inhibit iron absorption and cancel out your efforts! We have mentioned tea and coffee, but there are other foods to avoid combining with your iron-rich foods just to avoid losing out on that important iron. High calcium foods like milk, yogurt, kefir, salmon, cheese, sardines, and broccoli. Also, avoid high oxalate foods like kale and spinach. Avoid wasting your efforts by eating these foods as snacks between meals if you want to enjoy them, instead of combining them with your iron-rich meals.
Do I Need to Worry About My Iron?
After looking at the diet that you will need to follow to increase your iron intake, you may be wondering if all the trouble is worth it. Well, iron is a necessary component for hemoglobin production, which is essential for transporting oxygen and carbon dioxide across the body.
Symptoms of iron deficiency include dizziness, fatigue, headache, pale fingernails, pale skin, and general weakness. Lack of iron puts your body at risk toxicity and deprives it of oxygen. We bet iron does sound important now!
Yes, it will take a little more effort on your part to ensure that you include iron-rich foods and ingredients on your plate and avoid high calcium and oxalate foods during meal times, but the fact is that there is no better way of controlling your deficiencies than naturally. Iron therapy is available in intravenous and pill form, but there are many side effects like constipation, diarrhea, nausea, and more. Right about now that iron-rich diet is sounding better already!