Iron is an essential trace element for the formation of hemoglobin and erythrocytes. That is why, in order to keep your body healthy, it is important to find ways to combat iron deficiency in your blood.
If iron levels fall, the tissues do not receive enough oxygen, which can cause weakness, fatigue and anemia. If your doctor has told you that you have an iron deficiency, consider the following recommendations.
1. Ways to combat iron deficiency: Eat foods rich in iron
One of the best ways to combat iron deficiency in the blood is to adopt a healthy and balanced diet. The main cause of low iron levels is poor nutrition. Because iron is a mineral, it is found naturally in foods of plant and animal origin.
- Iron from food of animal origin is most easily absorbed into the body. The main source is meat (especially red meat).
- Plant iron is harder to absorb, but it is just as beneficial. The best options are legumes, green leafy vegetables and oilseeds.
2. Increase vitamin C intake
In order to be properly absorbed into the body, iron must be converted to ferritin. This process is done with the help of gastric juices from the body, which must contain hydrochloric acid and vitamin C. Therefore, it is good to add to the diet foods rich in vitamin C, such as: lemons, oranges, broccoli and bell peppers.
An important thing to note is that although vitamin C strengthens the immune system and facilitates the absorption of iron in the body, the excess of this nutrient can cause a deficiency of folic acid. Therefore, it is recommended to consume a maximum of two citrus fruits per day.
3. Avoid foods that prevent the absorption of iron in the body
In addition to foods that increase the level of iron in the blood, there are also products that make it difficult to absorb this nutrient, which is why it should be avoided. These foods are:
- Eggs. Fosvitin in eggs prevents the absorption of iron from plants.
- Milk. Calcium in dairy products makes it harder to absorb iron from plant and animal products if you consume more than 300 mg a day.
- What do you have. Oxalates in tea affect the absorption of iron from plant sources. It is not recommended to drink tea in combination with foods rich in iron.
- Chocolate and coffee. The phenolic compounds in these two foods prevent the absorption of iron of plant origin.
- Nuts and seeds. Phytates in these foods block iron and reduce its absorption by 50-65%.
If you have been diagnosed with anemia or iron deficiency, avoid the above foods as much as possible.
4. Use iron supplements
If you are pregnant, it is recommended that you take iron supplements to provide energy to your body and baby. Iron is very important for the development of the fetus.
- Considering the reason for your iron deficiency, talk to your doctor before taking a supplement.
- Supplements are not necessary in all cases and not all supplements are suitable for each person.
If you have been diagnosed with iron deficiency and, after a few months, you find out you are pregnant, go to the doctor and ask for some blood tests. Later, the specialist can tell you if you need to change your diet in any way.
5. Avoid excess dietary fiber
Dietary fiber performs many important functions in the body, such as: regulating digestion, lowering blood cholesterol levels and preventing chronic diseases such as colon cancer.
Even though fiber is beneficial, excessive consumption can be harmful if you have low iron levels in your blood.
- Because it has a laxative effect, iron passes through the digestive system faster.
- Therefore, the body absorbs a smaller amount of this mineral.
Although the tips above are very simple, you may not know where to start in implementing these ways to combat iron deficiency. In this case, we recommend you try the salad below. Have fun modifying the recipe to your own taste!
- Red meat (150 g)
- 1 cup fresh, washed arugula (100 g)
- 1 cup raw, washed baby spinach (100 g)
- Sliced grapefruit, peeled and seeded
- Salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)
Method of preparation
- Season the meat and grill it.
- Cut the steak into small pieces.
- In a bowl, place the meat, vegetables and grapefruit.
- Season with a little salt and freshly ground pepper and serve the salad immediately.
Do you know another recipe that offers a considerable amount of iron? What is the level of this mineral in your body?