Causes and Symptoms of Iron Deficiency Anemia: Iron Rich Diet for Anemia

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Iron deficiency anemia is a common type of anemia — a condition that occurs when you do not have enough iron in your body. An iron-rich diet can aid in treating iron deficiency anemia.

Everyone regardless the age and gender needs Iron. Iron is normally obtained through the food in the diet. To make our blood healthy, we need to eat iron rich foods. Iron is a mineral that is found in every blood cell in our body and is needed because it helps us to make hemoglobin. We also need iron to keep the immune system working properly and help the brain cells to work normally. Lack of iron can make us sick. However, lack of iron in the blood can lead to iron deficiency anemia. Iron deficiency anemia is a common type of anemia — a condition that occurs when you do not have enough iron in your body. Without enough iron, your body cannot produce enough hemoglobin, a substance in red blood cells that enables them to carry oxygen to the body’s tissues, giving your body energy and your skin a healthy color.

Symptoms of Anemia

Patients with mild anemia may not experience any symptoms, or the symptoms may be so mild that they are not noticeable. But signs and symptoms increase as anemia worsens. Symptoms of anemia are basically the same in older people as in younger people. A person with anemia will feel tired and weak because the body’s tissues are being starved of oxygen. In fact, the most common symptom of anemia is fatigue. Not having enough hemoglobin in the blood causes fatigue. Other symptoms of anemia include being pale, dizzy spells, cold hands and feet, shortness of breath, fast heartbeat, and headaches.

Causes of Anemia

There are many types and potential causes of anemia. Causes of anemia include ongoing blood loss, insufficient iron in the diet, poor absorption of iron by the body, pregnancy, and menstruation. Women with heavy periods are at risk of iron deficiency anemia because they lose a lot of blood during menstruation. Kidney failure also can be a cause of anemia. You can usually correct iron deficiency anemia with iron supplementation. Sometimes, additional treatments for iron deficiency anemia are necessary, especially if you are bleeding internally. Treatment should be directed at the cause of the anemia Eating a healthy, balanced diet that includes food from the iron rich food list can help prevent iron deficiency.

Although iron is found in a variety of foods and supplements, its availability to the body varies significantly depending on the type of iron present in the food.

Iron Rich Foods: Diet for Iron Deficiency Anemia

Iron is an effective dietary nutrient for health. Iron rich diet produces hemoglobin and aids the blood in carrying oxygen. Lack of iron in diet may lead to iron deficiency. This is more common among children and young women who consume very low levels of iron-rich foods. An iron-rich diet can aid in treating iron deficiency anemia. There are many iron rich foods out there, that are readily available, but many people are not informed of the choices they can make. Most people, instead of eating the things that they should that contain a sufficient amount of iron when they are anemic, take iron supplements instead. Unfortunately, iron supplements cause constipation. It is true that large doses of iron can cause constipation, which may cause some discomfort. Excessive intake of iron from supplements of any type may cause nausea also. So why not make it easier and eat foods that are high in iron? There are many good food sources of iron to choose from. The following are food sources of Iron.

• Meats such as beef, lamb, pork, chicken, turkey, duck, and seafood like oysters, mussels, clams, sardines, shrimp, and anchovies are rich food sources of iron, and especially beneficial in healing iron deficiency anemia.

• Legumes, like green peas and lima beans, peanuts, and canned baked beans are iron rich foods that prevent iron deficiency.

• Dark green vegetables are foods that are high in iron that can be incorporated into any meal. Salads that are filled with these vegetables is ideal, but can be used as sides as well. Dark green vegetables like spinach, broccoli, and kale are high in iron.

• Whole grains are very high in iron and anything that is whole wheat can be incorporated into any meal at any time.

• Egg yolk is rich in iron. Scramble some up for breakfast, or take a salad or sandwich with egg as an ingredient.

• Avocadoes: If you are tossing a salad for dinner, throw in a few slices of avocado to increase your iron intake.

• You can maximize the intake of iron by including pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds in your diet as they are good sources of iron.

• Soybeans and soy products like tofu and tempeh are rich in iron.

• Lentils provide iron, protein, and soluble fiber. Fiber helps reduce cholesterol and balance blood sugar.

Increasing Iron Absorption from Food

Iron deficiency anemia is low red blood cell count as a result of iron deficiency. Iron deficiency is known to be the most common nutritional deficiency in the world amongst the general population with severe iron deficiency leading to anemia. You can get iron deficiency by not getting enough iron in your diet or by not absorbing iron properly.

Not only is eating foods high in iron important, vitamin C in the diet is essential as it allows and aids your body into better iron absorption. Vitamin C enables the body to absorb non-heme iron on plant foods. For enhancing the absorption of iron in your diet, you should also consider vitamin C. Fruits and vegetables contain adequate amount of vitamin C. Eat food sources of iron with food sources of vitamin C with the same meal or snack to increase iron absorption.

You should minimize the consumption of dairy products in your diet, as this will hamper the absorption of iron from foods. Alternatively, you can include non-dairy foods in your diet such as nuts, seeds, peas, beans, and green leafy vegetables for getting enough calcium.

Do not drink, coffee, tea, or cola drinks during meals as caffeine hinders iron absorption from food, keep them at least 2 hours away from mealtime.

It is not difficult to find foods that contain the proper amount of iron. If you are not one who likes to eat certain types of foods, read the labels carefully to make sure that you are getting proper iron nutrition.

Eating a well-balanced diet that includes foods that are good sources of iron may help you prevent iron deficiency anemia. Iron is good for our health but remember too much iron is harmful to our body. Therefore, it is important to have it in a right amount. It depends on the age and gender that how much iron a person needs. The need for iron is much more at the time of growth that means we need more iron in the childhood and in the age of adolescence. In addition, extra iron in pregnancy because of the baby and for the increasing amount of blood in mother’s body. Iron is necessary for many functions in the body including formation of hemoglobin, brain development and function, regulation of body temperature, muscle activity, and catecholamine metabolism. One of the major benefits of iron is it increases energy. It also helps in increasing the immune system of the body. So eating it in proper quantity can help an individual in fighting against infections.