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Iron Deficiency: Are You Getting Enough Iron From You Diet? Let's Find Out

Iron deficiency symptoms include being pale, tired, cold, and feeling dizzy. A diet low in iron is one of the common causes of anaemia, and a diet of iron-rich foods is one of the best treatments.

Iron Deficiency: Are You Getting Enough Iron From You Diet? Lets Find Out

Iron deficiency: Cook food in cast iron utensils to increase your iron intake

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Iron deficiency is the most common cause of anaemia
  2. Include Vitamin C fruits and vegetables to meals
  3. Vitamin C helps in improving absorption of iron in the body

Eating properly is an essential part of keeping fit and healthy and getting right amounts of vitamins and minerals is a must. Iron is an essential mineral that your body needs for energy and aid healthy blood production. Our bodies can't produce iron so we need to get it from food. A person who eats a balanced diet can normally get enough iron that way. Mostly foods have (usually very small amounts of) iron in them, contributing to our overall iron intake.

The recommended daily iron intake for men is generally 10 milligrams (mg) and for women is 15 milligrams (mg). Women need more iron because they lose iron during their monthly period.

Without eating enough iron-rich foods in your diet can lead to Iron deficiency. It is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in the world, affecting one-quarter of the world's population.


Let's understand as what iron deficiency is, why it matters and how to make sure you get enough iron in your diet.

Also read: Iron Deficiency Symptoms: Do Not Miss This Sign Visible On Your Fingernails

What is Iron Deficiency?

Iron deficiency is the most common cause of anaemia. The size of red blood cells become small and pale without iron to produce Haemoglobin and do not carry enough oxygen to the cells in your body for energy production. The symptoms of iron deficiency include being pale, tired, cold, and feeling dizzy. A diet low in iron is one of the common causes of anaemia, and a diet of iron-rich foods is one of the best treatments.

Not getting enough iron in your diet (also known as 'inadequate dietary intake') - There are two types of dietary iron, haem iron (found in animal tissue such as fish, meat and poultry) and non-haem iron (from plant-based foods). Our body absorbs haem iron much more easily than non-haem iron. And hence there are many reasons why someone's dietary intake of iron could be too low, for example due to a poorly balanced vegetarian diet, chronic fad dieting or having limited access to a wide range of fresh foods.

Also read: Top 7 Iron-Rich Foods For Vegetarians: Add These To Your Diet

Thus, here are 5 ways to make sure that you are can get enough iron apart from eating iron rich diet:

  • Cook in cast iron.
  • Include Vitamin C fruits and vegetables to meals, especially meals with meat, fish, or poultry for iron absorption.
  • Eat whole grain cereals that have been fortified with iron.
  • Avoid tea, coffee and wine at meal times and 1-2 hours before. Tannins in these drinks reduce iron absorption.
  • Do not consume multivitamins high in zinc, magnesium and calcium near meal times. The minerals take part with iron for absorption when taken as a supplement.
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Leafy green vegetables are a rich source of iron
Photo Credit: iStock

It's important that everyone is mindful of the amount of iron they consume in their diet. Eating foods rich in iron accompanied with vitamin C for improved absorption is enough for most people. But if you're in a risk group for low (or high) iron levels, always check with your doctor.

Also read: Surprising Ways How Bringing Iron Utensils Back In Your Kitchen Can Help You

(Nmami Agarwal is nutritionist at Nmami Life)


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Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.

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