Going through a workout session successfully by overcoming exhaustion is a strenuous task. When iron levels are incompetent, it is an even more difficult task. A worthy workout session needs energy to start your exercise regime in the first place, sail through it smoothly and finish it in style. If you want to know how iron fits in between all these and how you can improve iron intake, please read further below.
Oxygen-Carbon Dioxide Cycle
Iron acts as the carrier between oxygen and carbon dioxide helping to carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body and expelling the excess carbon dioxide out of the body. Oxygen is the gas needed for our survival and any complaints of fatigue, dizziness, headache, pale skin, brittle nails, frequent cold and nail color changes are indicative of iron deficiency anemia for which the individual needs to get tested immediately. Statistics show that almost 50% of the women living in our nation suffer from iron deficiency which is a pathetic situation that needs immediate attention.
Advantages of being a Carnivore
While we advocate the advantages of eating a plant-based diet, non-vegetarians hold an advantageous position over plant eaters when it comes to iron. That’s because, meat contains more iron than plant-based foods and iron from plants (non-heme iron) is only half absorbed compared to the iron absorbed from meat (heme iron). Hence, vegetarians need to consume twice as much iron as non-vegetarians to fulfill iron requirements. While meat eaters can consume 8-18 mg of iron per day (menstruating women need 18 mg due to blood loss every month), vegetarians need 14-33 mg per day to stay free from iron deficiency.
The Golden Foods that Contain Iron
All pulses (black beans, lentils, peas and chickpeas) are protein-rich nutrients that are also filled with antioxidants. Other sources of iron include green leafy vegetables, broccoli, pumpkin seeds, turkey breast, salmon, mussels, oysters, salmon and tuna. Antioxidants safeguard our body against the action of free radicals and for detailed information on this, please visit the website www.firsteatright.com.
Avoid Coffee & Tea to Increase Iron Absorption
While there is no research that directly links coffee and tea intake to increased anemia, it is better that you decrease the consumption of these beverages if you wish to absorb iron into your body. This is because, you decrease the absorption of iron by as much as 40% when you drink coffee and by as much as 70% when you drink tea.
Nutrients to Boost Iron Absorption
Vitamin C helps to absorb as much iron as possible from foods. The secret to this is to consume vitamin C-rich foods alongside non-heme iron-rich foods for maximum absorption of iron by the human body. This is a boon for vegetarians to increase their iron absorption. For example, squeeze lime (vitamin C) over broccoli, add few slices of berries over iron-fortified cereal or add tomatoes to iron-rich lentils and rice to enhance iron absorption by the body. Use vitamin C sources such as oranges, bell peppers, potatoes, Brussels sprouts and strawberries wisely with non-heme iron foods for maximum benefit.
Never choose supplements over iron-rich foods unless prescribed by your physician. The multivitamins that you consume have the ability to provide sufficient iron to your body and ensure that you take no more than 45 mg of iron daily unless guided by a professional. This is because, increased quantities of iron in the body can be toxic for some people, such as those suffering from a condition known as hemochromatosis. Stomach upset and constipation is also possible in certain cases.
Dietitian Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.