Have you been feeling tired lately? Or, finding it difficult to make it up the stairs without getting exhausted even though you’re physically fit? If yes, your body might be lacking in iron — especially if you’re a woman.
Iron is a vital nutrient that transports oxygen throughout the body. Its deficiency can cause weakness, fatigue and of course anaemia. Women need to pay attention to their iron consumption more than men because they lose blood each month during menstruation. The recommended iron intake for women from 19 to 50 years of age is 18 mg while for men the same age is just 8 mg.
Signs of Iron Deficiency
Lack of iron can cause anaemia, which is a silent condition. However, you can watch out for these signs and symptoms.
If you experience any of these signs and symptoms, see your doctor who can detect and diagnose the different stages of iron deficiency with a simple blood test. If you’re pregnant or have a gastrointestinal disorder such as Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, or celiac disease, your doctor may recommend regular blood tests for iron deficiency.
Increase Your Iron-Intake through Diet
To increase your iron consumption, the most logical way is to eat iron-rich foods. Here are few ways in which you can increase your iron intake through food:
1. Include red meat in your diet. Organ meat in particular, such as liver, is known to be high in iron content. However don’t go overboard as too much red meat can increase the risk of colorectal cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
2. Add beans or lentils to soups, stews or casseroles to each meal. In fact, the traditional way of having a lentil broth or bean broth with white or brown rice helps increase iron absorption.
3. Choose iron-enriched breakfast cereals and flour. Always check the nutritional value on food labels of packaged foods and choose the variants that are high in iron.
4. Consume dark green vegetables and citrus fruits more often. In fact, the greener the vegetable the more iron you get out of it. Citrus fruits that are rich in Vitamin C help in better iron absorption from foods. So pair your foods well, replace lettuce with spinach for your salad. Have tomato sauce instead of cream sauce for your pasta.
5. Snack on dried fruits. Add raisins or other dried fruit to your cereal or in your favourite home-made cookie and muffin.
6. Replace tea and coffee with orange juice at breakfast. According to a study tea and coffee lower the absorption of non-heme iron.
7. Pair iron-rich foods with those abundant in vitamin C. Think of citrus fruits like oranges and other tropical fruits like mangoes and guavas, and vegetables like pepper, broccoli, and sweet potatoes. For interesting combinations, add strawberries to your cereal and have lentil soup with a tomato salad.
8. Include iron-fortified products. While purchasing your grocery, do check food labels for their iron content. The easiest way is to add iron to your meal is to include an iron fortified salt like Tata Salt Plus which has two micronutrients – Iron as well as Iodine and takes care of 50% Daily Iron Requirement of the human body.
9. Avoid taking calcium and iron supplements together. If you are taking iron supplements, do not take the calcium supplements at the same time because it lowers absorption of iron. Dairy products, coffee, tea, egg proteins and foods high in minerals like zinc and phosphorous can hamper the same.
10. Take iron supplements if needed. Supplements are especially needed by pregnant women and are usually prescribed along with other prenatal vitamins. If the iron levels in your body are substantially low, eating an iron-rich diet alone may not be enough to provide what you need.
Introducing Natural Liquid Red Iron
Most people respond well to taking iron supplements, and the fastest way in which these can be absorbed is in the ionic form.
Ultra Potency Red Iron allows absorption into the body’s cells at its highest rate, unlike tablets or capsules which are often more difficult to the body to fully absorb and utilise effectively. Another benefit is that constipation is also not a concern with Natural Red Iron.