Iron deficiency and the best foods that can help
Did you know many people worldwide suffer from an iron deficiency and don’t even know it? Could you be one of them? We will discuss the role of iron in our bodies and how we can resolve a deficiency and what are the best foods that can help to increase iron in our bodies.
What Is An Iron Deficiency?
An iron deficiency is a condition that affects the body when there isn’t a sufficient supply of iron to support red blood cell production.
Iron deficiency is caused by dietary iron intake being inadequate, excessive blood loss (due to menstruation, GI bleeding), or inadequate absorption of iron in the gut due to atrophic gastritis.
It will lead to listlessness, fatigue, and lack of energy. It can also cause pallor (pale skin) and sensitivity to cold; brittle or spoon-shape nails; thinning hair; repeated miscarriages; menstrual cramps worsened with long periods of bed rest (known as “sitting out”).
Iron deficiency is dangerous if not treated promptly as it may lead to anemia in all age groups, which causes tiredness, a sense of weakness, and dizziness.
What Role Does Iron Play In Our Bodies?
A red blood cell in the human body is called a hematopoietic cell. Red blood cells are also called erythrocytes. These cells provide transportation of oxygen from the lungs to tissues and then carbon dioxide from tissues to the lungs.
They also protect against infection by carrying antibodies to fight bacteria, other infectious agents like fungi, and invading organisms like viruses or mycoplasma. This body function makes them a vital component of our internal defense system against disease; without this protection, we would be very susceptible to infections of all kinds and may not live for long.
What Are Causes Of Iron Deficiency?
Iron deficiency can occur in several ways such as:
- Chronic blood loss usually associated with gastrointestinal bleeding
- Impaired gastric absorption such as as a result of gastric bypass
- Not keeping up with increased iron needs such as through menstruation and pregnancy
- Iron-refractory deficiency anemia
A simple blood test can diagnose iron deficiency.
What Are Symptoms Of Iron Deficiency?
When a person suffers from iron deficiency, the result is more significant than just fatigue. They end up with fewer red blood cells, less oxygen for organs and tissues, fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, and more susceptibility to illness and infection.
How To Increase Iron: best foods for Iron deficiency?
Iron is a complex mineral that requires other vitamins and minerals to be absorbed appropriately. To ensure proper iron absorption, your diet needs to include vitamin C, folic acid, and vitamin B12.
You can increase iron by consuming, beans, and dark leafy greens.
You can get folate by adding lentils, dried beans and peas, broccoli, citrus, and spinach to your diet.
Increase Vitamin C
By including bell peppers, dark leafy greens, kiwi, broccoli, berries, citrus fruits, and tomatoes into your diet, you can increase your vitamin C.
Increase Vitamin B12
Food sources include nutritional yeast, seaweed, and mushrooms. You can also visit this article about Vitamin B12
Our health depends on proper levels of iron, folate, vitamin C, and vitamin B12. If you have any concerns, it is best to seek advice from a medical professional.