Iron is a nutrient that the body constantly pumps in the bloodstream. But, even fitness-conscious people face problems with this regular body function. Iron deficiency anemia is a growing health concern, mostly among women. Iron is a critical nutrient that prepares and protects the body to perform daily activities and fight diseases. In addition, it is essential to produce hemoglobin that further makes red blood cells. RBCs act as a carrier for oxygen to various parts of the body, distributing it evenly. Red blood cells pick oxygen from the lungs and flow through the bloodstream to deliver it to muscles and tissues of the body. They follow the same route in the reverse direction for carbon dioxide.
Thus, if the iron does not reach the body, this whole process gets hampered, and a person can face multiple health concerns. Anemia is one such grave condition that can arise due to impediments in this process. Therefore, to avoid anemia or suppress its symptoms, one must know iron-rich foods to help get rid of the disease. After discussing anemia briefly, this article will enlighten you about iron-rich foods.
Anemia and Iron Deficiency
Do you feel tired and lethargic most of the time in a day? Is your skin getting pale? Do you experience shortness of breath and headache frequently? If you are facing any of this despite being just in your 20s or 30s? If the reasons for any of these health concerns are unknown to you, then it could be your dipped hemoglobin levels. One can face this unfortunate situation if the body is unable to absorb iron efficiently. This can lead to a medical condition known as iron deficiency anemia. This condition reflects the symptoms of iron deficiency, where the body’s iron reserves get so low that they cannot produce enough red blood cells to carry oxygen. And when the oxygen does not reach the various body parts, the symptoms that can arise are as follows-
- Pale skin and nails
Iron-Rich Foods For Anemia
People with anemia should focus on eating iron-rich foods and vitamins essential for producing red blood cells. B vitamins, such as vitamin B12 and vitamin C, help combat symptoms of anemia. If you can consume non-vegetarian sources of iron, try to get your hands on them as they allow your body to absorb iron better. If you have the slightest hint of any of the above anemia symptoms, then try these iron-rich foods given below-
Chickpeas, soybeans, red kidney beans, etc., are rich in iron, vitamin C, and folate. All of these components are essential for the synthesis of hemoglobin. They also provide an amazing amount of minerals and fiber. The versatile food can also help stabilize sugar levels and high cholesterol.
Organ meat, especially liver meat, is a popular and rich source of iron. Other iron-rich sources of organ meat include the kidneys, heart, and brain. Being ridiculously high in iron, organ meat is also high in copper, selenium, vitamin A, and B group vitamins.
This is another satiating and fantastic source of iron. For instance, a 100 gram serving of beef meat can offer a whopping 2.7 mg of iron. Red meat, along with being a terrific source of iron, provides minerals such as zinc, selenium, etc. People with anemia can cope with the symptoms of the disease to a great extent if they regularly eat red meat.
Cereal is a staple breakfast for many people. Give your day an iron punch by adding fortified cereals as a breakfast! You can check the nutrition label on the cereal packaging to pick the cereal with the highest amount of iron. For instance, raisin bran cereal can satisfy your iron needs with its excellent iron content.
You must have seen popeye, who swore by spinach to get strong with iron! It’s time to replicate him to cope with anemia. Just a cup of spinach can deliver the body 3.7 mg of iron. Along with iron, spinach is also a great source of calcium, fiber, and some vitamin groups. Although it may not be the favorite food because of the slight bitterness, spinach can take charge of your health, being a source of multiple essential nutrients.
Broccoli can save your iron deficit days as it can satiate the daily iron requirements easily. It is one vegetarian iron-rich food that helps the body to absorb iron better. With high iron levels, broccoli also holds health benefiting nutrients such as vitamin C fiber, folate, and multiple vitamin groups. Not only this, but plant sources of iron also contain some compounds that can fight cancer cells.
Popularly known as the pseudocereal, quinoa is also a great source of iron. If you face gluten intolerance, then quinoa is a perfect iron-rich food to deal with anemia. Quinoa also serves as a decent source of micronutrients and minerals along with iron. This is why the antioxidant activity of the cereal is also exemplary. It improves the metabolic rate and protects the cells against wear and tear.
Tofu is a soy-based iron-rich food. The food is famous for its nutritious profile and is consumed widely. It is also a decent source of minerals such as calcium, selenium, etc., and contains high protein content as well. In addition to this, tofu also consists of isoflavones that can help manage insulin sensitivity along with anemia. Therefore, tofu is your way to go to target multiple problems at once!
The Bottom Line
To fight anemia, you should understand that no single food can treat the disease alone. Thus, being mindful of an overall healthy and balanced diet is vital. Iron-rich foods such as meat, green vegetables, legumes, etc., are easily available options you can get your hands on. You can also start adding supplements to your diet if your anemia symptoms are causing increasing problems. For a holistic iron-packed diet, consult a dietician or professional healthcare. Do not take the mild symptoms lightly, be particular about the nutrients you add to your diet, and remember that your health can be best treated by you only!
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