Iron is an important and essential mineral that must be consumed as your body cannot produce it on its own. Iron-deficiency anemia, the most common type of anemia, occurs when your body doesn’t have enough iron. Red blood cells contain a protein called hemoglobin, which is full of iron, without sufficient iron your body can’t make the hemoglobin, which is essential to create enough red blood cells that deliver the oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. As a result, you will always feel weak, tired, dizzy, and short of breath.
Below are 3 easy tips to avoid iron deficiency:
1- Choose Iron-Rich Foods
We all know that iron rich foods include meat and seafood, but there are other vegetarian sources rich in iron like pumpkin seeds, quinoa, beans and peas. Also, some dark leafy vegetables contain iron like spinach and broccoli. Make sure you include these foods in your diet.
2- Limit Certain Foods
Some foods interfere with iron absorption. These include caffeine products like coffee and tea, and foods that are high in gluten like pasta and bread. Other foods that contain oxalic acid can also limit iron absorption like peanut and chocolate.
3- Choose Foods Containing vitamin C
High vitamin C foods boost iron absorption because vitamin C helps your body absorb dietary iron. As we all know, high vitamin C foods include orange, broccoli, grapefruit, kiwi, peppers, tangerine and strawberries.
To conclude, the best diet plan to avoid anemia is to include foods rich in iron, foods that will enhance your body’s absorption of iron, and to avoid food that may interfere with this process. Another tip to maximize your iron intake: is to cook with cast-iron pan and cook foods for shorter period of time.
Some people may require iron supplements if they do not eat enough meat or high iron foods. However, it is important to consult with your doctor before taking any iron supplement and to follow the right dosage as excess iron can cause side effects.Written by Mariam Fadlallah, Kcal Nutritionist