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What food should I take for low haemoglobin?

Thursday, 19 August 2004
Answered by: Ms. Swastika Verma
Nutrition Counsellor,

New delhi
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Q. My haemoglobin has gone down to 6%. I am taking dexorange tablets twice every day and I am taking fruits to improve the same. I feel tired, weak and look pale. During periods the weakness is more. What diet should I take? Are two capsules of dexorange OK? What should be the frequency of blood tests?

A.  As you must be knowing that low level of haemoglobin is mainly due to the deficiency of iron in the diet. Two capsules of dexorange is just the correct dosage but besides capsules you must increase the dietary intake of iron too. Lots of different foods contain iron, and, as you may be aware, the iron in some foods is better absorbed than that in others. The iron from meat sources is the best-absorbed form. The iron you will absorb from a small serving of liver, for example, equals the iron you would get from a big serving of spinach. That is because some vegetables contain iron inhibitors that interfere with the absorption of iron. Women of your age are commonly iron-deficient. In fact, a woman between the ages of 12 and 50 has a 95 percent chance of being iron-deficient, for a couple of reasons. Women lose blood during their monthly period and consequently lose iron, women often do not eat enough to be able to get the iron they need. Therefore, it is often helpful not only to eat iron-rich foods but also to take a multivitamin supplement that contains iron. Many supplements are designed for women with that in mind. Certain nutrients, such as vitamin C, help to boost the potency of the iron by enhancing its absorption. So eating high-iron foods with, for example, a glass of orange juice increases the amount of iron the body can use. This list contains iron-rich foods from more absorbable to less which you may include in your diet: All types of liver, oysters, sardines, turkey, chicken, cod, brewers yeast, blackstrap molasses, iron-fortified breakfast cereals, wheat germ, soyabeans, lentils, turnip greens, baked-potato skin and spinach. Get your blood test done for haemoglobin once per month and when the level comes to normal you may stop taking tablets and only continue with a healthy diet that includes sufficient amount of iron.

A.  As you must be knowing that low level of haemoglobin is mainly due to the deficiency of iron in the diet. Two capsules of dexorange is just the correct dosage but besides capsules you must increase the dietary intake of iron too. Lots of different foods contain iron, and, as you may be aware, the iron in some foods is better absorbed than that in others. The iron from meat sources is the best-absorbed form. The iron you will absorb from a small serving of liver, for example, equals the iron you would get from a big serving of spinach. That is because some vegetables contain iron inhibitors that interfere with the absorption of iron. Women of your age are commonly iron-deficient. In fact, a woman between the ages of 12 and 50 has a 95 percent chance of being iron-deficient, for a couple of reasons. Women lose blood during their monthly period and consequently lose iron, women often do not eat enough to be able to get the iron they need. Therefore, it is often helpful not only to eat iron-rich foods but also to take a multivitamin supplement that contains iron. Many supplements are designed for women with that in mind. Certain nutrients, such as vitamin C, help to boost the potency of the iron by enhancing its absorption. So eating high-iron foods with, for example, a glass of orange juice increases the amount of iron the body can use. This list contains iron-rich foods from more absorbable to less which you may include in your diet: All types of liver, oysters, sardines, turkey, chicken, cod, brewers yeast, blackstrap molasses, iron-fortified breakfast cereals, wheat germ, soyabeans, lentils, turnip greens, baked-potato skin and spinach. Get your blood test done for haemoglobin once per month and when the level comes to normal you may stop taking tablets and only continue with a healthy diet that includes sufficient amount of iron.

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