Do you feel weak, tired, and irritable?
Iron-deficiency anemia, the most common form of anemia, is a decrease in the number of red blood cells caused by too little iron. Without sufficient iron, your body can’t produce enough hemoglobin, a substance in red blood cells that makes it possible for them to carry oxygen to the body’s tissues. As a result, you may feel weak, tired, and irritable.
About 20% of women, 50% of pregnant women, and 3% of men do not have enough iron in their body. The solution, in many cases, is to consume more foods high in iron
There are 2 types of iron in food: haem and non-haem. Haem iron, found in meat, poultry and seafood, is absorbed more effectively than non-haem iron, which is found in eggs and plant foods.
Animal-based sources of iron
Top animal-based sources of iron include:
Plant-based sources of iron
Plant foods containing non-haem iron can still provide an adequate amount of iron for the body. Good sources include:
How to improve iron absorption from food
How you prepare food, and which foods you eat together, can affect how much iron your body absorbs.
For example, foods rich in vitamin C such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, berries, kiwi fruit, melons, green leafy vegies and capsicum, can help you absorb more iron if you eat them at the same time as iron-rich foods. Add them raw to your plate, drink unsweetened orange juice with your meal, or take a vitamin C supplement.
Coffee, tea and red wine (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic), on the other hand, can reduce iron absorption. Calcium-rich foods, calcium supplements and some soybean-based foods can also inhibit iron absorption.
It’s better to have coffee, tea, red wine and dairy foods in between meals.
Can you have too much iron?
In healthy people, the body regulates how much iron it absorbs from food and supplements — so it’s difficult to have ‘too much’ iron in your diet.
However, some people have a genetic condition called haemochromatosis, which causes the body to absorb excess iron. The normal level of iron in the body is 3-4 grams, but in people with haemochromatosis it can be more than 20g.
About 1 person in every 300 has haemochromatosis, and it’s usually picked up through screening people who have a close relative with the condition.
Talk to your GP if you have any concerns about your iron levels.
Beet Juice Recipes
Beetroot should only be used in its raw state. That is because the powerful betalain it contains is reduced during cooking, and oxalic acid crystals are released forming calcium stones when heated.
2 Cups Carrots Juice
Half cup Beetroot Juice (use one small beetroot. They are sweeter)
Add other vegetables or fruits according to the recipe you choose
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