It is estimated that approximately 40% of young women experience a shortage of it, and for quite a few reasons.
Among them can be called an illiterately built diet, poor absorption of iron, loss of menstrual blood. Since the latter cause cannot be eliminated, it is necessary to adjust the nutrition to fill the deficit.
Iron in the human body: why is it needed?
The human body contains about 4-5 grams of iron. The role of iron in the human body is great. This element is a component of hemoglobin, and in the form of hemoglobin in the blood is almost 70% of the mineral, the rest is stored in the muscles, liver, spleen and bone marrow.
In turn, hemoglobin, this red blood pigment, plays an important role in the fact that every cell in our body receives the much-needed oxygen. In other words, iron is part of the hemoglobin and therefore is a carrier of oxygen in the body.
Iron contained in food is combined in the small intestine with protein, forming a digestible compound called ferritin. If there is little iron in the body, oxygen is badly circulating in it, anemia occurs.
Iron deficiency in the body causes some negative health effects. This may include a decrease in physical performance, concentration, mental activity, forgetfulness.
Another consequence of a lack of iron in the body is an abnormal heart rhythm. Iron deficiency is more common in women than in men, which is explained by physiology (blood loss during menstruation). It is also believed that children and people who lose weight are prone to deficiency.
The last stage of mineral deficiency is anemia – a condition in which the concentration of red blood cells and hemoglobin does not reach the norm. Anemia is very common because even a seemingly balanced diet can provide only a very small amount of minerals.
Also, the lack of iron in the body is associated with initially too little iron in the diet. Affects the poor absorption of iron from the gastrointestinal tract. Fortunately, this factor is amenable to correction.
Every day, the body must absorb about 2 milligrams of iron. This element is present in almost all products.
However, iron from food is poorly absorbed by the body: only 10% of the mineral in food will be absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract. Accordingly, to meet the needs of the body, it is necessary to provide it with iron in food products 10 times more.
The mineral is found in the form of heme and non-heme. Non-heme iron is present in plant foods, but the body is more difficult to assimilate than heme iron. The latter is found in animal products. The digestive system absorbs approximately 10-20% of heme iron and 1-5% non-heme.
What should be nutrition for anemia? What foods are rich in iron?
The richest source of iron is natural, little processed foods. The basis of the diet should be meat (lean red), fish, seafood, eggs. They contain iron in the thermoform, easily absorbed by the body. By-products (for example, liver) are characterized by a particularly high element content.
If you are planning a child’s diet, you should refuse pork: dishes should be made from turkey, chicken, rabbit, veal or beef. Older children should eat fish twice a week. A weekly menu should also include 3-4 eggs.
Another answer to the question of what foods contain iron is vegetables and fruits. Most of the mineral is found in spinach, cabbage, greens, lettuce, legumes, pumpkin seeds, and broccoli.
These are foods rich in folic acid, improving the absorption of valuable mineral. Particular attention should be paid to green vegetables (spinach, cabbage, etc.). Chlorophyll has a structure that is chemically very similar to hemoglobin.
Products containing iron are also grain products. You should choose wholemeal bread cooked in sourdough, as there are no wickers in it. Other recommended sources of mineral from this group are cereals, muesli, and cereals.
Useful for raising iron levels are seeds, nuts, dried fruit, and bitter chocolate.
Diet for anemia pays attention to the way of cooking: it has a great influence on the content of iron. Long preparation is not recommended: it leads to the fact that the mineral is in the water.
How to improve the absorption of iron?
Increasing the absorption of iron in the body is possible. Food for anemia should provide it with components that facilitate this process. One of them is the B-group vitamins (B6, B12, folic acid) and vitamin C.
Vitamin B6 is found in yellow cheese, fish, meat, nuts, seeds, dried plums, bananas, avocados, liver, whole grains. Vitamin B12 is found only in products of animal origin: fish, seafood, liver, red meat, yellow cheeses, eggs. Vitamin B9 (folic acid) is found mainly in green vegetables: lettuce, spinach, asparagus, broccoli, and lentils, most types of beans, oranges, avocados, mangoes.
It is worth combining the listed vegetables with foods rich in vitamin C – the absorption and absorption of iron will be much better. Its main sources are citrus fruits, kiwi, pepper, cabbage, black currant, wild rose, strawberry, broccoli. For example, if we eat a vegetable lunch, you can serve it with orange or currant juice, fruit salad.
In the morning, at lunch and in the evening, drink fruit juices (unsweetened), for example, cranberry, orange. Without vitamin C, the element will not be absorbed by the body. Iron absorption from nuts and spinach without such a combination is only 1-2 percent.
If we combine them with meat and vitamin C, the absorption of iron from products in the body will increase almost five times. Combining a vegetable mineral with animal protein also improves its absorption.
Other substances that should be rich in nutrition for anemia, as they improve the absorption of iron, are molybdenum, copper, zinc, and cobalt. Molybdenum is part of numerous enzymes whose task is the absorption of iron. Without this trace mineral, the mineral will leave the body.
The main sources of molybdenum are rice, legumes, parsley, and tomatoes. Copper, cobalt, and zinc are involved in the formation of red blood cells. The sources of copper are nuts, legumes, seafood, and avocados. Rich sources of cobalt are chicory, spinach. Zinc is found in seafood, seeds, nuts, spinach, beans, pork, rye bread, buckwheat.
Some herbs (for example, cinnamon, thyme, mint, anise, ginseng) increase iron absorption. They should be a permanent menu item.
It is useful to eat pickles, sauerkraut – for example, during lunch. The process of fermentation accompanying digestion leads to a decrease in pH and intensification of the absorption of the mineral.
When eating something from cereal, add onions or garlic. They have sulfur, due to the presence of which iron is absorbed better by as much as 70%.
What prevents the absorption of iron?
If you have anemia, and you expect that the use of iron-containing foods will quickly fix the situation, then, unfortunately, you have to upset. It is not always possible to quickly compensate for the lack of iron in the body since the absorption of iron has its subtleties.
First, it is essential to understand why anemia has occurred. Not every anemia is a consequence of a lack of iron, so with low hemoglobin, it is necessary to check the content of serum iron in the blood. If iron deficiency is confirmed, then you have to replenish its reserves. And this should be done according to special rules.
It should be borne in mind that our body absorbs bivalent iron best of all, and to assimilate ferric iron, it needs additional energy, which is sometimes not enough with health weakened by anemia. That is why garnets and pomegranate juice containing ferric iron do not always effectively combat anemia.
The same applies to iron-based drugs – it is important to know exactly which valence iron is used in the manufacture of this drug.
In addition to the valence, the transport of iron from the stomach into the blood and the internal environment of the body also plays an important role. Mucopolysaccharides, which are involved in the transport of iron, are important in iron binding. If iron in the stomach does not bind to mucopolysaccharides, then it will pass through the intestine transit without bringing benefit to your body.
Difficulties with the binding of iron and mucopolysaccharides may occur if there are any inflammatory diseases of the stomach or problems with its mucosa.
It should also be borne in mind that the increase in hemoglobin occurs not only due to the gland, but also when the kidneys produce the hormone erythropoietin. If the kidneys work poorly, or the person has some kidney disease, then the production of this hormone can be difficult.
The synthesis of erythropoietin is also influenced by stress. People who constantly worry and experience irritation suffer anemia much harder and get rid of it for a long time.
Our nutrition also affects the absorption of iron. For example, the combination of products containing calcium and magnesium, with products rich in iron, is unacceptable, as, in this company, iron is almost not digested. Eating foods or vitamins with calcium and magnesium is necessary either two hours before consuming iron-containing foods or vitamins, or two hours after.
That is why iron-rich beef or liver should not be combined with dairy products containing calcium, as well as cereals and nuts, which are rich in magnesium.
Normal absorption of iron will never take place with high use of caffeine and tannin. This means that tea and coffee during the treatment of anemia will have to be significantly limited and, all the more so, they should not drink down dishes with a high content of iron or iron-containing vitamins.
Corn, wheat, soybeans, and eggs are also not companions for iron, as they contain phosphates and phytates, which impair the absorption of iron from the stomach into the blood. The same can be said about oxalic acid, which is plentiful in spinach, sorrel, and blueberries.
And the last tip: try not to consume iron-containing foods with foods that are high in dietary fiber. It will complicate the whole process of digestion and the process of iron absorption including.
What helps the absorption of iron?
When all the problems with the absorption of iron are solved or not allowed, you need to think about the transport of iron in the blood. Copper is essential for good iron transport. It is the one that provides high-quality production of ceruloplasmin – an element that carries iron. Therefore, iron deficiency is often a consequence of a lack of copper in the body and, as a result, a lack of important ceruloplasmin.
Do not forget about the importance of zinc and cobalt for the absorption of iron, which can be found in the liver, cocoa, and seafood. And, of course, in the fight against anemia cannot do without ascorbic acid (vitamin C). Vitamin C helps to perfectly absorb the gland, which is the reason for its frequent inclusion in iron supplements.
To find ascorbic in natural version is quite simple: it is rich in lemons, oranges, apples, grapefruits, kiwi, strawberries, strawberries, bell peppers, tomatoes, and cauliflower.
It should also be borne in mind that any nutrition counselor who has completed dietetic courses will advise you to combine iron with folic acid, which is second in some reasons for the development of iron deficiency anemia. It is a lot of folic acid in parsley, young nettle, and dried apricots.