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Do you frequently feel tired and drained? Is your skin turning pale or yellow? Do you also have respiratory problems? If the answer is yes, you may have iron deficiency anaemia, which is a relatively common illness. Anaemia is a condition in which the blood doesn’t have enough healthy red blood cells due to a lack of iron in your body. Without enough iron, your body is unable to make haemoglobin, which is necessary for red blood cells to contain in order to transfer oxygen to the body’s organs. So, try to consume iron-rich foods to cure anaemia and increase hemoglobin levels in your body.
Health Shots got in touch with Roopshree Jaiswal, Consultant – Dietitian/Nutritionist, Motherhood Hospitals, Mechanic Nagar Indore, to suggest the best iron-rich foods to cure anaemia and increase haemoglobin.
Jaiswal says, “Medications can be prescribed with such conditions but little changes in your diet too can do wonders. There are many iron-rich food items that you can add to your regular diet to prevent iron deficiency and increase hemoglobin levels in your body.”
Dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach are a good source of iron, potassium, and vitamins K and B. Jaiswal says, “Spinach is not only good for iron deficiency but it also contains vitamin C, which boosts iron absorption in the body. It is also rich in antioxidants called carotenoids that can improve your health by decreasing inflammation and increasing immunity levels.” This is an extremely rich source of iron and can be consumed in various forms.
Meat is extremely nutritious, especially organ meat such as liver, kidneys, brain, and heart, as they are rich in B vitamins, copper, and selenium. And the presence of iron and low fiber, especially in red meat, can cure anaemia and increase hemoglobin levels.
The most popular kinds of legumes are beans, lentils, chickpeas, soybeans, and peas. “They are loaded with nutrition, and legumes are also a great source of folate, magnesium, and potassium,” says Jaiswal. They help in fulfilling the iron needs of the body, especially for people who do not want to consume meat.
Nuts such as dates, raisins, walnuts, almonds, and dried apricots are loaded with iron, calcium, and magnesium. These nuts can help you build a strong immune system along with curing anaemia and low hemoglobin levels.
To improve your iron absorption in order to cure anaemia and haemoglobin, broccoli is the right choice. It has a high nutrient value. It is not only beneficial for iron deficiency, but it is also a cruciferous vegetable that contains indole, sulforaphane, and glucosinolates. These are plant compounds that are believed to protect against cancer.
If possible, try to include non vegetarian foods in your diet as well. Jaiswal says, “Fish, especially tuna, is rich in iron. Apart from that, it is also rich with omega-3 fatty acids that promote brain and heart health and support immune function.”
Seeds such as pumpkin, sesame, hemp, and flax are the best sources of iron. They also contain good amounts of plant protein, fiber, calcium, magnesium, zinc, selenium, antioxidants, and other beneficial plant compounds, too. In addition, seeds are also a great source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which make them a perfect food to fight anemia and low haemoglobin levels.