Ohh come on !!! I've just grown up … I can't be iron deficient … Don't most of us think in a normal scenario? However, the fact is that iron deficiency can be seen in all ages and genders. But teenage girls are more prone to this. Iron deficiency can either be due to inadequate dietary iron intake, an increased need, or blood loss for any reason. Learn all about anemia (types, causes, symptoms, and treatment of anemia).
Iron is an important micronutrient that is essential for various functions in the human body. It is important for cell growth, oxygen binding, transport and storage, enzymatic reactions, immune function, mental and physical growth, etc. An iron deficiency can therefore affect mental and physical growth, which leads to reduced learning ability and work productivity.
Food anemia is a major public health problem in India (R1), according to WHO. It is mainly due to iron deficiency. Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA) is a global (R2) health problem.
The reasons can be increased iron requirements, menstrual blood loss, infection, worm infestation, etc.
What is anemia
Anemia is a metabolic disorder in which hemoglobin levels are below 12 in women and below 13 in men (R3). Anemia results from a decreased amount of red blood cells in the body. It leads to a decreased flow of oxygen to the organs of the body.
Causes of Anemia:
Some of the most common causes of anemia are as follows.
- Blood loss, e.g. B. from heavy menstrual bleeding or operations and accidents
- An ulcer
- Regular use of some over-the-counter pain relievers
Different types of anemia have different causes. They include:
It is caused by low iron levels in the body. This leads to decreased hemoglobin levels (R4).
Pernicious anemia / vitamin deficiency anemia:
Caused by a lack of folic acid and vitamin B-12, which leads to decreased red blood cell production (R5).
Caused by inflammatory diseases such as cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, and HIV and kidney disease (R6).
Aplastic anemia and anemia related to bone marrow disease:
Certain drugs, toxic chemicals, or autoimmune diseases sometimes decrease the production of red blood cells, which causes aplastic anemia. This is a rare but life threatening anemia. Leukemia and myelofibrosis can also be a causative factor in this rare type of anemia (R7).
In some cases, hemolytic anemia can be genetic. It occurs when red blood cells are destroyed quickly and the bone marrow does not replace these cells at the same rate (R8).
Sickle cell anemia is genetic and is caused by the incorrect formation of hemoglobin cells in an abnormal crescent shape (sickle shape). These irregular blood cells die prematurely, leading to a chronic shortage of red blood cells (R9).
Symptoms of anemia:
- shortness of breath
- Regular headache
- Regular cramps in the legs
- Difficulty concentrating (R10)
Who is Prone to Anemia?
- Women just because they tend to lose blood during menstruation
- Pregnant women skip multivitamins with folic acid and iron
- People over 65 years of age
- Diet low in iron, vitamin B-12
- Cancer, kidney failure, or some other chronic disease lead to a deficiency in red blood cells
- People who repeatedly donate blood without enough time. (R11)
Treatment of anemia:
Eating a balanced and nutritious diet is key to preventing anemia. The best diet plan for anemia includes foods high in iron and other vitamins that are important for hemoglobin and RBC production. The nutrients are supposed to help your body absorb iron better. Read – Indian Diet Plan To Increase Hemoglobin Levels.
There are two types of iron in foods: Heme iron and Non-heme iron.
- Heme iron is found in meat, poultry and seafood.
- Non-heme iron is found in plant foods and foods fortified with iron.
Your body can ingest both types, but heme iron is more easily absorbed by the human gut. The daily requirement is 150 to 200 milligrams of iron. (R12)
If the diet is not enough to provide the iron needed, a supplement should always be considered. However, it does require that the recipe is from a certified professional. Livogen Tonic is one such supplement that meets daily iron needs. Livogen Tonic consists of the appropriate proportions of iron, folic acid, B complex and zinc in order to avoid deficiencies.
Food to eat in iron deficiency anemia:
Dark green leafy vegetables are among the best sources of non-heme iron. They include:
Some iron-rich greens like spinach and kale are also high in oxalates. Oxalates are compounds that prevent the absorption of non-heme iron. So don't just rely on them to treat the disease. Supplement your greens with foods rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C helps your stomach absorb iron. (R13)
Meat and poultry:
All meat and poultry products contain heme iron. Red meat and lamb are the best sources. Poultry and chicken have smaller amounts. Eating meat or poultry with non-heme iron feeds such as leafy greens can increase iron absorption.
As in the normal scenario, humans avoid organ meat, but they are an excellent source of iron. The liver is arguably the most popular organ meat. It is rich in iron and folic acid. Some other iron-rich organ meats are the heart and kidney.
Seafood provides heme iron. Shellfish such as oysters, clams, and shrimp are good sources. Most fish contain iron.
Many foods are externally fortified with iron. Include such foods in your diet when you are deficient in iron:
- Fortified orange juice
- Fortified ready-to-eat cereals
- Food made from fortified refined flour
- Fortified pasta
- Fortified cornmeal foods
- Fortified white rice
Vegetarians can get their share of iron from beans. They are also inexpensive and can be combined with any diet. Some iron-rich options are:
- Kidney beans
- black Eyed Peas
- Black beans
Nuts and seeds:
Many types of nuts and seeds are good sources of iron. You can mix these with salads, soups, or sprinkle them over your favorite recipe. It goes well with most salad, juice, and soup recipes. Some examples are:
- Pumpkin seeds
- Cashew nuts
- Hemp seeds
- Pine nuts
- Sunflower seeds
Foods to Avoid in Iron Deficiency Anemia:
- Tea and coffee: These are high in tannins, oxalates and caffeine. Try not to combine such foods with iron-rich recipes.
- Milk and some dairy products: High calcium levels tend to compete with the absorption of iron from the gut. Therefore, consume such foods separately.
- Foods that contain Tanninslike grapes, corn, and sorghum, as they hinder the absorption of iron in the blood.
- Foods that contain Phytates or phytic acidslike brown rice and whole wheat products. Such foods reduce iron absorption.
- Foods that contain Oxalic acidlike peanuts, parsley and chocolate
- Almonds are also a good source of iron. But they are also rich in calcium and can reduce iron absorption.
Points to Remember:
- Do not eat foods rich in iron with foods or drinks Block iron absorption. These include coffee or tea, eggs, foods high in oxalates, and foods high in calcium.
- Eat foods rich in iron Vitamin C rich foodslike oranges, tomatoes, or strawberries to improve absorption.
- Eat foods rich in iron with foods that contain them Beta carotenesuch as apricots, peppers, and beets to improve absorption.
- Consume a Variety of heme and non-heme iron foods throughout the day to increase your iron intake.
- eat Heme and non-heme iron foods together whenever possible to increase iron intake.
A single food alone cannot cure anemia. Instead, you can prevent iron deficiency in the body with the right foods. Eating a balanced, healthy diet high in dark, leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds, seafood, meat, and beans will relieve anemia. Taking Livogen Tonic in severe cases is also helpful. Acid foods absorb the most iron. Avoid combining foods high in calcium and high in iron, as this can decrease iron and calcium absorption.
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