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Iron deficiency: causes and symptoms. How to prevent the disorder and which diet to choose to increase iron levels and keep the body healthy.
Iron deficiency is a disorder that affects more than half of the population; its main symptom is a sense of weakness and exhaustion.
Our body needs iron to create hemoglobin, a protein found in red blood cells essential for the transport of oxygen to all tissues. A lack of hemoglobin production results in poor oxygen circulation throughout the body.
Iron deficiency, symptoms
Iron deficiency leads to various symptoms. Let's see specifically:
- fatigue, paleness
- ringing in the ears
- weak and frequent pulse
- lowering of the pain threshold
- poor regulation of body temperature
- hair loss
- irregular cycle
- difficulty in concentrating
- weakening of the immune system
- brittle nails
Iron deficiency, prevention and remedies
If iron deficiency is diagnosed and treated promptly, there are no consequences. Otherwise it can lead to serious complications especially for those with heart problems or for those with respiratory failure. Excess iron can also negatively affect our body. For this reason, before deciding to take supplements or revolutionize your diet, it is good to first consult a doctor in order to follow the most appropriate therapy.
Pay attention to how to combine foods
In case of low iron, it is good to correct your eating habits immediately. Among the foods with the highest iron content we find: cocoa, dried fruit, legumes, radicchio, chicory, egg yolk, both red and white meat
An aspect that should not be underestimated is how to combine foods to promote the absorption of iron. It is important to combine foods appropriately to ensure our body has the right amount of iron. For example, foods rich in vitamin C, such as lemon or orange, improve the absorption of iron present in meat or vegetables.
It is also good to know that iron is more easily absorbed through the consumption of red meat, white meat and fish. It is not so easy to absorb it through the consumption of vegetables, fruit, eggs ... ..
Avoid excessive consumption of dairy products: calcium slows down its absorption.
Pay attention to the consumption of alcohol
Not everyone knows that iron deficiency often correlates with excessive alcohol consumption. When we use alcoholic beverages, we force our liver to work harder to expel it. It should be emphasized that iron is not only present in red blood cells; an iron reserve is also present in the liver (also in other organs such as spleen, bone marrow and skeletal muscles). It is therefore recommended to consume alcohol in a moderate way to avoid an iron deficiency.
Yes to folic acid
In case of iron deficiency, the intake of foods with a high content of folic acid can help as it accelerates the division of red blood cells and therefore promotes oxygen transport. Foods rich in folic acid include citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables (especially asparagus and spinach tips), nuts, seeds and legumes.
It is good to know that the folic acid present in these foods is very sensitive to heat. It is therefore better not to cook them for too long, on the contrary, steam cooking methods are preferable
Consume Vitamin C
As already mentioned, vitamin C promotes the absorption of iron of vegetable origin. It is therefore advisable to consume foods rich in vitamin C such as oranges, lemon juice, grapefruits, kiwis to ensure a proper intake of vitamin C.
Pay attention to the consumption of tea and coffee
Tea and coffee contain tannin, a plant substance that reduces the absorption of iron. Limit consumption, especially during meals. Even if you are taking iron supplements, it is preferable not to drink tea or coffee a few hours before and after their consumption.