Iron is a key mineral your body needs to function properly. It is critical for growth and development. Your body needs iron to produce hemoglobin proteins, which are crucial for the function of red blood cells.
You may find this surprising, but you can become iron deficient despite eating the correct amount of iron-rich foods and supplements.
Iron absorption, rather than iron intake, refers to the amount of iron you can process before the excess is removed from your body. Without the proper nutrients in your diet, your body can become less prepared to absorb iron. A lowered iron intake will eventually lead to symptoms of iron deficiency. Let’s take a look at foods that boost iron absorption.
Foods to Help Avoid Iron Deficiency:
Certain foods are optimal for preparing your body to absorb iron. These foods contain vitamins and minerals that help capture two types of iron proteins (heme and non-heme). So which foods are better for preparing your body to absorb iron?
Foods Rich in Vitamin C
Vitamin C can be consumed by eating or drinking citrus products like orange juice or limes. This vitamin is also found in leafy green vegetables, strawberries, melons, and bell peppers. Vitamin C helps the body capture non-heme iron (found in non-meat sources), thereby increasing overall iron intake.
Foods Rich in Beta-Carotene and Vitamin A
Your body needs Vitamin A to grow and maintain a resilient immune system. Beta-carotene is a pigment that your body converts to vitamin A. Adding foods with high vitamin A and beta-carotene content can increase your iron absorption two or even threefold. Foods rich in vitamin and beta carotene include carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, squash, red peppers, cantaloupe, apricots, peaches, kale, and oranges.
Meat, Poultry, and Fish
These foods are rich in iron but also promote both heme and non-heme iron absorption. While meats, fish, and poultry provide iron absorption qualities, they are dwarfed by the effects of increasing intake for Vitamins C and A, as well as beta-carotene.
Foods that Inhibit Iron Absorption:
Some foods, while they provide essential nutrients, are not conducive to iron absorption. People, especially caregivers, need to monitor the intake of the following foods if they are dealing with iron deficiency.
-High Fiber foods
-Phytic Acid (found in legumes, grains, and other plant foods)
The inhibiting effect of these foods can be counteracted with the Vitamin C rich foods mentioned earlier in this article. People suffering from anemia can alleviate their symptoms by carefully measuring their intake of these nutrients.
Without proper iron intake, you face serious health risks. Symptoms of iron deficiency anemia (a condition occurring due to low iron intake) include tiredness, shortness of breath, headaches, sensitivity to cold, and poor attention span. Give yourself the right nutrients to absorb more iron. Alternatively, there’s a new iron-absorption supplement called Iron-Catch. Iron-Catch doesn’t come with the same side-effects as traditional iron supplements. The all-natural supplement is rich in vitamins and minerals, giving effective results within 30 days.