Feeling exhausted, suffer from significant hair loss or maybe you experience heart palpitations, loose your breath often or have the people from your environment noticed your pale look? If so, you probably suffer from iron deficiency, i.e. anaemia.
Ever since we were small children we were constantly told how important it was for us to have iron rich foods in our diet. Just remember popular cartoons like Popeye who would grow huge muscles and solved all the obstacles to save his beloved Olive just by eating spinach. This was one of the tricks our mothers used to make us eat spinach so we can be strong, and this goes for boys in particular.
However, it is not only the spinach that is a good source of iron, there’s meat as well, especially veal and chicken liver, eggs, broccoli, lens, dry plums, apricots, nuts, raisins and beans. Having consummated such foods, you should take vitamin C so to enhance iron absorption. So don’t mind taking one glass of natural orange juice after lunch.
Furthermore, iron found in meat is a better choice than the rest of iron rich foods. Namely, iron from foods of animal origin, the so-called “heme iron” is most easily absorbed by our body. Contrary to this, calcium (the mineral) in addition to caffeine from coffee and tannin from tea inhibits the absorption of this valuable mineral. Hence, if you are anaemic, avoid taking calcium supplements and also reduce your intake of coffee and teas.
Iron is vitally important for our body because it is responsible for the production of new blood cells – red blood cells (erythrocytes). We also find it in myoglobin, a protein which provides extra oxygen for the muscles to keep at a high- level activity. Increased need for iron is often a requirement of pregnant women, nursing women, athletes, women who suffer from severe menstrual pains and definitely vegetarians because their diet generally includes much less iron-rich foods. If you happen to suffer from chronic iron deficiency (anaemia), don’t hesitate to turn to your doctor for an advice. He might prescribe you iron supplements that you should be taking for at least two months in order to improve your blood count.
Translation: G. Dujmović