Top 10 Iron Rich Foods For Iron Deficiency Anemia

Iron Deficiency

Iron deficiency anemia is a world prevailing condition that sucks your health silently, it is due to deficiency of iron and characterized by low red blood cells or hemoglobin (Hb) in blood. Females of reproductive age and children are much more prone to iron deficiency than others. A person with low blood count or Hb levels less than 12mg/dL is considered anemic. Many biochemical tests are used to detect iron deficiency.

Signs & Symptoms:
Usual sign and symptoms of iron deficiency anemia are as follow.
• General fatigue
• Shortness of breath often with chest pain
• Cold hand and feet
• Pallor skin and eyes
• Tingling sensation in limbs
• Strange cravings (pica-pica)
• Brittle nails
• Anorexia (loss of appetite)

Normal ranges of iron in human body:
Optimal iron levels in different genders and age groups are as follow.
Adult male: 13.8-17.2gm/dL
Adult female: 12.1-15.1gm/dL
Pregnant women: 11-12gm/dL
Children: 11-16gm/dL

There are 4 stages of iron deficiency anemia according to severity:
Anemic: Below 12gm/dL
Mildly anemic: 10-12gm/dL
Moderately anemic: 8-10gm/dL
Severely anemic: Below 8gm/dL

The deficiency of iron can be cured through a balanced diet rich in iron as well as by providing iron supplementation if necessary. For this you should consult a Registered Dietitian or Physician. Other nutrients having crucial role in treating anemia are vitamin-C, vitamin-B12 and folic acid. Vitamin-C works synergistically to boost the absorption of iron in body.

Dietary sources of iron:

Basically there are two types of iron.
1- Heme iron that is present in animal food sources and has better absorption than the other type.
2- Non-heme iron that is present in plant food sources.

Food sources of heme iron:
• Chicken liver
• Beef liver
• Salmon
• Tuna
• Halibut
• Turkey
• Oyster
• Lean ground beef
• Mussels
• Lamb chop

Non-heme food sources of iron:
• Soybean
• Lentils
• Spinach
• Tofu
• Chickpeas
• Black eyed peas
• Lima beans
• Apple
• Carrots
• Beetroot
• Sunflower seeds
• Whole wheat
• Prunes
• Raisins
• Apricots
• Cashews
• Almonds
• Pistachios
• Tomatoes
• Kale
• Pumpkin seeds
• Egg