Iron is the most commonly deficient nutrient in the world. Find out how to increase your iron intake naturally.
Iron is the most common nutritional deficiency worldwide
Although probiotics, fasting, and protein are the most popular topics in nutrition, iron is the most important and severe nutrient deficiency. Iron is an essential mineral for oxygen transport in the body.
Who is most at risk of iron deficiency?
Iron-deficiency Anemia is a risk that everyone can be exposed to, but the following groups are most at risk:
- Women in their childbearing years
- Breastfeeding and pregnant women
- Young children
- Adolescent girls
What are the most frequent symptoms of iron deficiency, and what can they be?
- Extreme fatigue
- Reduced brain function, dizziness, and difficulty concentrating
- Pale skin and pale fingernails
Noting: These symptoms can also be common for other health conditions. You should have your iron deficiency diagnosed by a blood test administered by your healthcare provider.
These are two quick and easy ways to increase your iron intake.
1. Concentrate on both animal and plant iron sources.
These are some of the most potent animal sources of iron:
- Turkey – dark meat
- Chicken – dark meat
- Mollusks include clams and cuttlefish as well as oysters and mussels.
These are some of the most potent iron-rich plants:
- Pinto, pinto, lentils, and kidney beans
- Dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, and Swiss chard.
- Breakfast cereals with added nutrients and vitamins
- Whole grains and enriched grain – bread, rice, and quinoa.
2. Consume iron-rich and vitamin-rich foods together.
Iron from animal sources is absorbed 2 to 3 times more efficiently than iron from plants. There are two ways to increase iron absorption from plants. The percentage of iron absorbed by plants increases if you eat meat, poultry, and fish in the same meal. You can also increase iron absorption by eating or drinking vitamin-rich foods at the same time.
Take, for example:
- Breakfast cereals with iron are best. Consider adding berries to your breakfast cereal. The iron in the breakfast cereal is increased by the addition of berries.
- You can snack on a piece of beef or turkey jerky with dried apricots and figs.
- To make lean beef more tender, add tomato products to your dishes. Vitamin C found in tomatoes increases iron absorption from beef.
- To increase your iron intake, try a spinach salad with dried Cranberries rather than a lettuce salad.
- Add dried fruits and nuts to your favorite muffin recipe for a snack. Vitamin C found in dried fruits will increase iron absorption.
- In soups, stews, and casseroles, add cooked beans or lentils. The iron in the beans will be increased if you add tomatoes and meat to them.
- Oven-roasted Kale is an iron-rich side dish.
These tips can be used to prevent or treat iron deficiency.