Foods to Eat If You Have Low Iron
Iron is needed in your system to produce red blood cells with hemoglobin, which oxygen is carried throughout your body by it. You can develop iron-deficiency anemia and may be tired, weak and pale if your iron is insufficient. Iron deficiency prevents adequate absorption of iron from the intestines into the blood and usually results from bleeding, such as heavy periods or internal bleeding; poor nutrition such as vegetable sources of iron or lack of adequate meat; or disease such as ulcerative colitis, crohn’s and celiac disease. You need a diet high in iron-rich foods or also called low iron diet if you have low iron.
Eat Meat or Fish
40 percent heme iron and 60 percent non-heme iron are contained in animal protein, so the most efficient way to increase iron intake is eating meat, fish or poultry as heme iron occurs only in animal protein and is absorbed more readily than non-heme iron. Lean organ meats such as liver and red meats such as lamb and beef, are very good sources of iron. Instead of white meat, dark poultry meat is higher in iron; take this into your consideration. Especially shellfish, such as shrimp, clams, oysters and mussels, and also salmon and tuna, fish contain good amounts of iron. Another good source is egg yolks. Also, if you are vegetarian, high in iron, tofu and tempeh may be used as mean substitutes.
Eat Green Leafy Vegetable and Legumes
Dried legumes which are high in non-heme iron include kidney beans, lentils, lima beans and soybeans. You need to increase your iron intake to compensate, if you are vegetarian or vegan, because non-heme iron is not absorbed as well as heme iron. Another great source of iron is green leafy vegetables. This good iron source includes Brussels sprouts, beet greens, turnip greens, Swiss chard and spinach. If you do not eat meat, you should be sure to include vitamin C in your meal because vitamin C markedly increases absorption of heme. Other good choices are bok choy and broccoli which are high in both vitamin C and iron.
Eat Nuts and whole Grains
Although nuts high in fat and would be better to include in the low iron diet in small amounts, nuts such as almonds and cashews are high in non-heme iron and other nutrients. Other good sources of iron are fortified cereals such as oatmeal & Cream of Wheat, and whole grains especially quinoa. However, to make sure it is fortified with iron, when buying cereal you should always simply check the label.
Avoid Tea, Coffee, Cola and Calcium Supplements
As calcium bind to iron and prevent its absorption, coffee, cola and tea, which are containing some chemicals like tannic acid and phytic acid, should be avoided. Also, you should avoid taking calcium supplements within an hour of meals and avoid drinking these liquids with your meal. Phytic acid is also found in rye bread and some other grains, and tannic acid is found in chocolate.