Top 10 Iron Rich Foods To Combat Anemia

6 min read

Written by Pradeep

Pradeep

Top 10 Iron Rich Foods To Combat Anemia

Today every third person is suffering from anemia in India. Anemia has become a very common problem among children. Earlier only women suffered from this condition, but today’s children also suffer from this. In this article, let us understand what iron deficiency anemia is, and how is it caused? You can also find top iron-rich food to combat anemia.

Iron is an essential nutrient essential for the proper growth and function of the body of the child. It also promotes the development of proteins that transport oxygen and regulate cell division. In order to maintain bodily functions, it is important to consume adequate amounts of iron. But what happens if you do not consume enough iron? Read on.

In This Article

What is Iron Deficiency Anemia?

Iron deficiency anemia occurs when your blood is short of red blood cells or hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is like the lifeline of the body. It supplies oxygen to the body tissues. Hemoglobin helps in maintaining the shape of red blood cells. If your body does not produce enough red blood cells or when your hemoglobin level is low, then your body does not get enough oxygen. This lack of oxygen will make your body tired, exhausted, and irritable.

Red blood cells, also known as erythrocytes, are the most common blood cells in the body. When your blood count is too low because of a lack of oxygen caused by less iron in your blood, that’s when you are anemic. There are a lot of factors that determine that you are anemic like bone marrow failure, leukemia, or some strong cancer medicines.

But the most common reason for anemia, which occurs in day-to-day life, is a poor diet. Normally when you are anemic, you experience fatigue, loss of energy, dizziness, and leg cramps. It is found that almost 50% of women experience iron deficiency anemia at some point during their pregnancy.

[Read: Leukemia In children]

How Does Your Body Use Iron in Food?

How Does Your Body Use Iron in Food_

When one consumes iron-rich foods, the body absorbs the iron from the upper part of the small intestine. As webmd.com states, there are two forms of dietary iron: heme and non-heme. Heme iron is derived from hemoglobin. It is found in animal foods that originally contained hemoglobin, such as red meats, fish, and poultry. Your body absorbs the most iron from heme sources. Non-heme iron is from plant sources.

[Read: 10 Tips To Inculcate Healthy Eating Habits in Kids]

Top 10 Foods That Can Help Combat Iron Deficiency Anemia

However, there are foods that help you fight anemia. Let us take a quick look at these nutritional foods. To combat anemia, you will need foods rich in iron.

1. Spinach

Vegetables are an essential part of our diet. Spinach tops our list of iron-rich foods. It is low in calories and rich in minerals. Your body requires iron to produce sufficient hemoglobin, and spinach gives you that required iron. The iron requirement for children can be met by giving spinach soup.

2. Lentils

lentils

100 gms of boiled dal contain 3.3 mg of iron. Lentils are also rich in proteins. Lentils are not limited to tur dal, but extend to masoor dal, chana dal, moong dal, and urad dal. Include it daily in your diet.

3. Legumes

Various legumes are rich sources of iron. Legumes are extensions of lentils. Legumes like chickpeas, black-eyed peas, beans like kidney beans, and pinto beans are iron-rich. The serving size of one single cup can supply up to a quarter of your recommended daily iron intake.

4. Fenugreek

Also called Methi, it is used as a herb and spice. Methi is the most common ingredient in our day-to-day life, especially in winter. They are rich in vitamins and minerals and also give you iron.

5. Dry Fruits

dry fruits

Raisins, dried peaches, and apricots are the most nutritious iron-friendly dry fruits. Have a handful of these dried fruits with cereal, or just have it plain. 1 ounce of peanuts, pecans, walnuts, pistachios, roasted almonds, and roasted cashews can give you about 0.7 milligrams or more of non-heme iron.

6. Beet Root

Having beet-root juice daily is the best natural remedy for anemia. Beetroot has the properties of cleansing your system, thereby restoring red blood cells and supplying oxygen to the blood.

7. Poultry/Liver

Liver

Poultry products like chicken, liver, beef, lamb, and pork are the healthiest products of iron among meat-eaters.

8. Seafood

Our body needs the mineral iron for manufacturing heme – a compound that contains iron. Seafood like oysters, shellfish, and fish are very rich in iron. In fact, 3 ounces of oysters can give you about 3.5 milligrams or more of iron per serving.

9. Tofu / Paneer

tofu

Tofu is healthier than paneer, as it has more iron content than paneer. This is a good way to introduce iron to children’s diets. Before tofu made its way into the Indian market, paneer was the healthiest option for iron and calcium. Though paneer is a milk product and a source of calcium, calcium is also an Iron Absorption Inhibitor. One-half cup of tofu contains as much as 3.5 milligrams or more of iron per serving.

10. Fresh Fruits

When one wants to increase their iron intake, fruit is the last option in their mind. But watermelon has iron content. Even dried peaches and apricots are rich in iron.

[Read: 10 Ways To Encourage Your Child To Eat Fruits And Vegetables]

How to Make the Most of Iron in Your Food?

Not all iron from the food you eat gets inside your system. That is because consumption of some foods can hinder your absorption of iron. As a rule, avoid eating calcium-rich foods with iron-rich foods, like ‘palak paneer’. Also, do not have caffeinated drinks with your meals. If you still have trouble with getting enough iron, seek your doctor’s advice, who can prescribe some iron supplements for you.

Is it True That Vegetarians Do Not Get Enough Iron?

Though it is believed that vegetarians do not get much iron from their diet, that’s not true. As a thumb rule, meat is considered the healthiest form of iron. But vegetarians and vegans have other means of gaining iron. Foods like coconut, olives, sprouts, soybeans, sesame seeds, and almonds provide iron sources. Eat iron-rich foods daily and stay healthy.

[Read: The Benefits Of Including Almonds In Your Child’s Diet]

FAQ’s

1. Can Anemia be Dangerous?

An iron deficiency causes anemia. This will cause your hemoglobin levels to dip. As a result, oxygen supply reduces in the blood.

2. Can I Eat Dates to Combat Anemia?

Yes, you can. Dates are a rich source of iron. An increase in iron content in the blood can reduce anemia.

3. Can Eating Sea Food to Increase Iron Intake, Lead to Food Poisoning?

Yes, it can. if your seafood is not cooked properly, it can be dangerous. It can lead to food poisoning.

4. What Fruits Can I Eat to Increase Iron in My Body?

Eat fresh fruits like watermelon, apricots, and peaches. You can eat them in moderation to avoid any side effects. This combined with fresh vegetables can increase iron content.

Read Also: Immunity Boosting Foods For Kids

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