Iron is the most abundant element on Earth. Your blood cells contain a protein called hemoglobin. Iron is the building block of hemoglobin. If you have iron deficiency you body will have a tough time producing hemoglobin. In turn, this will reduce the number of red blood cells in your body and will adversely affect your health. This is because red blood cells are the carriers of oxygen. When the cells and tissues do not get enough oxygen, they are unable to function optimally. Anemia is a condition when your body does not have healthy red blood cells. It can take a toll on your energy levels, skin and hair texture, heart health and overall immunity. Below are the ways to reverse iron deficiency anemia.
Having Iron Rich Foods
Eating foods rich in iron is the primary solution to reverse iron deficiency anemia. Experts agree that the recommended daily allowance of iron is 10mg for men and 15mg for women. This requirement increases during pregnancy and if you are into athletics. Some foods that are rich in iron include oysters, meat, fish, beans, figs, apricots, whole grains, oatmeal and broccoli. Honey is also an excellent source of iron and copper.
Adding Vitamin C in your diet
Vitamin C brings tons of benefits to your body and helps to reverse iron deficiency anemia. One thing it does to iron is increasing its absorption. Studies have shown that having just hundred grams of Vitamin C in one meal can increase your iron absorption by almost 70%. Apart from oranges and lemons, some of the other foods having Vitamin C are bell peppers, guava and green leafy vegetables. The simplest way to get more Vitamin C daily is to squeeze a lemon juice over your salads. You can even kick start your day with a glass of warm lemon water or a grapefruit.
Cooking in Cast Iron Vessels
It just takes a few minutes to make mindful swaps while cooking. Give your non-stick cookware a break and try using cast iron skillet. Cooking in cast iron vessels can increase the iron content in the food by almost 16%. Additionally, your food will taste great. Non stick and aluminum cookware can leach out harmful chemicals while cooking. Cast iron skillet is chemical free and has a longer lifespan. Therefore, cooking in cast iron vessels is an effective way to reverse iron deficiency anemia.
Be Careful while Eating Calcium Rich Food
There are some people who usually have a glass of milk and then eat iron rich foods. This should be avoided as calcium from the milk can prevent the complete absorption of iron. It is not just milk, other calcium sources like cheese and yogurt can also meddle with iron absorption. A study found having 165 mg of calcium reduces the iron absorption by 50 to 60%. If you are iron as well as calcium deficient, then space your foods and supplements as far as possible. They should be taken at different times to avoid opposite effects on your body.
Avoid Having Tea and Coffee with Food
Polyphenols are a group of chemical compounds present in tea and coffee that interfere with iron absorption. Many times when tea and coffee are consumed with meals, it stops the absorption of iron from food due to the high amount of polyphenols present in them. These beverages also have tannins that have the same effect on iron absorption as polyphenols. A study showed drinking one cup of black tea along with your meal could reduce iron absorption by almost 60 to 70%. Just remember to drink tea and coffee wisely, mostly a few hours before or after having iron rich foods.