Foods that can help fight iron deficiency - GulfToday

Foods that can help fight iron deficiency

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Iron deficiency, more commonly known as anaemia, occurs when the body is low in red blood cell count. Iron is the most important component used in the creation of red blood cells, which enables them to carry oxygen around the body.

Iron deficiency in the body can occur due to common causes such as poor diet, heavy blood loss, pregnancy, and the body's decreased ability to absorb iron.

Thus, a decline in the iron levels can lead to a number of maladies, which can be life-threatening, if left unchecked, says Rohit Shelatkar, fitness and nutrition expert.

Some of the signs and symptoms of iron deficiency include:

Extreme fatigue

Pale skin

Shortness of breath

Cold hands and feet

Dizziness and anxiety

Brittle nails

The risk of iron deficiency can be reduced by consumption of foods rich in iron. There are two types of iron in foods: Heme iron and Non-heme iron, explains Shelatkar.

Heme iron is found in meat, poultry, and seafood. Non Heme iron is found in plant foods and foods fortified with iron. Some of the foods that should be consumed include:

Red meat




Dark green leafy vegetables, such as spinach

Dried fruit, such as raisins and apricots

Iron-fortified cereals, breads and pastas


The body's absorption of iron can be boosted by eating foods rich in Vitamin C, in order to achieve the desired levels, as they help the stomach absorb iron from food. Some of the best foods that aid in this process include fruits and vegetables like broccoli, tomatoes, kiwis, oranges, strawberries and peppers.

Other than this, one can use iron supplements. Care must be taken not to overdo it, as there can be unpleasant side effects of consuming too many iron supplements like stomach pain, constipation or diarrhoea, heartburn and nausea. Slow release capsules or tablets or low dose liquid supplements could be ideal.

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