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Experiencing iron deficiency due to Covid-19? These foods can help you out

Covid-19 may cause iron deficiency. You can increase your consumption of certain foods to keep your iron levels stable.
iron deficiency
Iron-rich foods can help in you avoid anemia. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Grace Bains Published: 18 Jun 2021, 18:22 pm IST
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Several patients who have recovered or are recovering from Covid-19 have complained of fatigue, breathlessness and cognitive dysfunction. These symptoms are associated with iron deficiency, as an alteration in iron metabolism and anaemia has been linked to this virus in many cases.

Iron deficiency is a condition in which the blood has a reduced number of healthy red blood cells, which are required to carry oxygen to the body’s tissues.

Iron deficiency in Covid-19 patients

You could be experiencing iron deficiency if you are a Covid1-9 patient, recovered or otherwise, and experiencing symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, chest pain, shortness of breath, headache or poor appetite.

In such a case, see a doctor for a diagnosis before self-medicating with iron supplements as excess iron accumulation can damage your liver and cause other health complications.

iron deficiency post coronavirus
Speak with your doctor if you experience signs of iron deficiency post-Covid. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

However, you could increase your iron intake through certain foods as it would amount to micro-dosing on iron and provide a host of health benefits due to various other nutrients present in them.

Foods rich in iron

These foods will boost the iron content in your body and help increase your red blood cell count:

1. Spinach

Low on calories and high on nutrition, spinach is the superfood you should include in your diet. About 100 grams of raw spinach containing 2.7 mg of iron, also happens to be rich in vitamin C, an agent that boosts iron absorption. This leafy vegetable contains antioxidants that improve overall health by decreasing inflammation and increasing immunity levels.

2. Legumes

Legumes such as beans, lentils, chickpeas and soybeans contain high quantities of iron. One cup of cooked legumes will provide your body with 2-6 mg worth of iron. Legumes are also a good source of folate, magnesium, and potassium and can help reduce the risk of heart diseases and lower blood levels of damaging LDL cholesterol. Try having legumes with vitamin C rich foods such as tomatoes to increase iron absorption.

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3. Seeds

Seeds such as flax, pumpkin and chia contain adequate amounts of iron. Pumpkin seeds, for example, contain 2.5 mg of iron in one serving (28 grams). Moreover, these seeds are also a rich source of magnesium, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids and can help you fight high cholesterol and protect your cells from harmful free radicals produced during metabolic processes.

iron deficiency post covid
Seeds are one of the best iron-rich foods available. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

4. Broccoli

A power food, as it is often cited, broccoli packs a solid nutritional punch. It contains 1 mg of iron per serving of 150 grams of cooked broccoli. It also contains vitamin C which helps your body absorb iron better. This wondrous vegetable is also rich in fibre, protein, calcium, selenium and magnesium, therefore, be it fighting anaemia, building muscles or strengthening bones, broccoli is the undisputed wholesome goodness champion.

5. Dark chocolate

Packing 3.4 mg of iron per serving of 28 grams, this is probably the tastiest iron-rich food you could include in your diet. Dark chocolate is also loaded with antioxidants and supports in lowering inflammation, “bad” LDL cholesterol levels and blood pressure. This nutritious and delicious treat is also helpful in reducing the risk factors for heart disease.

So, be vigilant of any signs of iron deficiency and consider including these foods in your diet.

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About the Author

Grace is someone who likes writing enough to make a living out of it. When she isn’t writing, you will find her having chai and reading a book. ...Read More

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