More than 50% of women in India are anemic. Often this deficiency goes unnoticed with many blaming their ill-health on poor work-life balance.
It's time you check up on your lack of knowledge and lifestyle choices. Iron deficiency can occur if you lose more blood cells and iron than your body can replace or if your body does not do a good job of absorbing iron. Research has shown iron deficiency anemia can affect your immune system, making you more susceptible to illness and infection. What's the solution? Eat enough food with iron in it.
"Amount of diet in iron should be maintained at all cost by all age group," says Dr B Padate, MD ( Med), MRCP (UK), FRCPath (UK), CCST(UK), consultant in Hemato- oncology and Bone Marrow Transplantation, P D Hinduja Hospital and MRC, Mumbai, IN.
It's easier said than done. We suggest you identify the problem at the core. Not all food items that are rich in iron might be easily absorbed by your body, except for Heme-iron. You can find it in shellfish, red meat, poultry, and fish. On an average, people absorb between 15-35% of the heme-iron they consume (Insel et al 2003).
Non-heme iron, which is less easily absorbed by the body, is found in vegetables, as well as in egg, milk, and meat. Sources of non-heme iron often contain phytates, which attach itself to iron and carry it through the digestive tract unabsorbed. Vitamin C may be a particularly powerful iron absorption enhancer. One study reported that adding just 63 mg of vitamin C to a meal rich in non-heme iron yielded a 2.9 times increase in iron absorption (Fidler et al 2009).
While Vitamin C is good for your body, know what acts as an iron-absorption inhibitor? Phytic acid found in grains, legumes, and other plant foods; egg protein from both the white and the yolk; minerals like calcium, zinc, magnesium, and copper and tannic acid found in tea. This does not mean that one should stop eating them, but it would do good to avoid eating in excess or with iron rich foods.