Dietary Help for Iron-Deficiency Anemia


If you have been diagnosed with iron-deficiency anemia, your doctor has likely advised you to eat more foods that are rich in iron. Here’s what you need to know to be sure you get the iron you need.

Foods containing iron are grouped into two categories:

•Heme iron is found only in meat, chicken and fish.
•Non-heme iron is found in eggs and vegetable-based foods, such as beans, green vegetables and dried fruit. Non-heme iron is also used to fortify some cereals, pastas and breads.
Maximizing absorption
The body absorbs heme iron from meat, chicken and fish better than non-heme iron from vegetable sources. These tips can help you maximize your overall iron absorption:

•Choose lean meats, fish and poultry. Iron is found in the flesh, not the fat. Keep your heart healthy by buying lean cuts of meat and skinless chicken.
•Eat vegetables and grains (non-heme) with small amounts of meat or poultry (heme). The average absorption of iron from plant sources increases when eaten with meat, poultry or fish. An example of a good combination is enriched spaghetti with clam or meat sauce.
•Combine iron-rich foods with foods high in vitamin C. Vitamin C can more than double the amount of iron your body absorbs. Excellent vitamin C sources include sweet bell peppers, vegetable and tomato juices, brussels sprouts, broccoli, baked and sweet potatoes, greens, cabbage, kiwi, guava, oranges and orange juice, grapefruits and grapefruit juice, strawberries and melon.
•Avoid drinking regular or herb tea, coffee or cocoa with your meals. Certain tannins and acids found in these drinks can interfere with iron absorption.
•Avoid taking any calcium supplements with your meals. Excess calcium can also interfere with iron absorption.
What about vegetarians?
Because iron is not absorbed as well from plant foods, it is recommended that vegetarians take in about twice the amount of iron recommended for non-vegetarians.

However, there is evidence that our bodies adapt to lower iron intakes over time by increasing absorption and decreasing losses. Studies show that the incidence of iron deficiency anemia among vegetarians with well-balanced diets is similar to that of non-vegetarians.

If you are a vegetarian, though, you should be sure to do the following to maximize the absorption of iron from your diet:

•Seek out specific high iron — natural and enriched — vegetarian foods.
•Avoid taking calcium supplements and drinking coffee, tea or cocoa with meals.
•Eat plenty of foods rich in vitamin C.
Adding it up
How much iron you need depends on your gender and age. In general, adult women between the ages of 19 and 50 need more than men. Men over age 18 and women over 50 need about 8 mg of iron per day. Women ages 19-50 years need 18 mg per day.

The following chart shows how much iron you get from your foods. For packaged food, use the Nutrition Facts label to determine how much iron has been added.

Cooked Source
Serving Size
Iron (mg)

Seafood

Clams 3 oz.
14

Oysters 3 oz.
6.6

Shrimp 3 oz.
2.5

Tuna, halibut 3 oz.
1.1

Meat and poultry

Chicken, skinless breast 3 oz.
1

Duck, no skin 3 oz.
2

Beef, lean 3 oz.
3.0

Turkey breast 3 oz.
1.6

Turkey drumstick, no skin 3 oz.
2.3

Pork tenderloin 3 oz.
1

Eggs 1 large
0.7

Beans, cooked

Lentils 1/2 cup
3.3

Limas 1/2 cup
2.2

Dried beans (kidney, black) 1/2 cup
2.2

Split peas 1/2 cup
1.2

Soybeans, boiled 1/2 cup
4.4

Grains

Cream of wheat 1/2 cup
8

Fortified cold breakfast cereal 3/4 cup
18

Fortified oatmeal 1 packet
8

Wheat germ 2 Tablespoons
1.3

Enriched whole wheat bread 1 slice
0.9

Vegetables

Dried apricots, peaches 1/4 cup
1.5

Broccoli 1/2 cup
0.6

Brussels sprouts 1/2 cup
1

Peas 1/2 cup
1.2

Potatoes, cooked with skin 1 medium
2.4

Prunes 1/4 cup
1

Spinach, Swiss chard, cooked 1 cup
4

Squash, winter, cooked 1 cup
1.4

Think you need a supplement? Talk to your doctor, who will determine when and if an iron supplement is appropriate for you.

Halle Berry

Home Remedies for Acne Treatment

An outbreak of acne can be seriously damaging to the skin. It is generally caused due to over accumulation of sebum... ...

Halle Berry

How does Energy Healing Work?

Energy is a universal concept that almost all the sciences known to people agree with. There are several principles... ...

Halle Berry

How Safe or Unsafe is Plastic Surgery?

Looking good has become extremely important these days with the advent of numerous visual mediums. We are readily... ...

Halle Berry

Diabetes During Pregnancy: Will I Need a C-Section?

If you have diabetes during pregnancy, you are more likely than other women to have a large baby. When a baby is... ...

Halle Berry

8 Tips for Better Sleep When You’re Pregnant

Pregnancy can make you ga-ga over sleep. Those first few months, you can’t seem to stay awake. Even the... ...

DASH: Designed for Every Body

DASH: Designed for Every Body

Diets are a lot like fashion. Depending on the season (and which celebrity is currently obsessed),...

Dietary Help for Iron-Deficiency Anemia

Dietary Help for Iron-Deficiency Anemia

If you have been diagnosed with iron-deficiency anemia, your doctor has likely advised you to eat...

Simple Swaps! Make Healthy Food Even Healthier

Simple Swaps! Make Healthy Food Even Healthier

Looking for easy ways to boost the nutritional value in your food? ...

Does Advertising affect Eating Disorders?

Advertisements are all around us. What we see impacts us in some or the other way.

How to Stop Online Shopping Addiction

How to Stop Online Shopping Addiction

In the age of electronics, there are many trends that turn into addictions....

Grocery Shopping Tips for College Students

Grocery Shopping Tips for College Students

College life is the most enjoyable part in one’s life but it also inculcates sensibility and ...

Skin Care »

  • Global Hand Washing Day

    Global Hand Washing Day

    The primary practice aim was mobilize people and transform handwashing from being just an abstract idea to an automatic ...
  • Pre School Hand Hygiene

    Pre School Hand Hygiene

    Children are very notorious and they can literally give a deaf ear to their parents when the latter ...
  • Personality Type Diet Plan

    Personality Type Diet Plan

    The Personality Type Diet has been crafted by Robert Kushner. He is a known expert on ...
Easy Way to Stop Smoking
Easy Way to Stop Smoking

Medical practitioners all over the world have been constantly appealing ...

Self Hypnosis Techniques
Self Hypnosis Techniques

A self hypnosis session requires a strong suggestion, proper relaxation and delivering ...

How to Tighten Loose Skin
How to Tighten Loose Skin

Loose skin is a common problem that a lot of women as well . ...

Careers in Speech Pathology
Careers in Speech Pathology

With a rise in speech-related problems in people, speech pathologists are in great demand

8 SureFire Tips on How to Lose Inches Off Your Waist Fast

Want to know how to lose inches fast?

The 2 Types of Knee Braces With Side Stabilizer
The 2 Types of Knee Braces With Side Stabilizer

Do you have a problem with your knees?...

RiRi
Is It Easy To Quit Smoking Forever?

How do I dare to say that it is easy to quit smoking? ...

Kids and Martial Arts Can Be a Great Match
Kids and Martial Arts Can Be a Great Match

All parents want their children to grow up healthy and develop discipline...

Don't miss

Take It Easy: Preventing and Treating Shin Splints

What are shin splints? Typically, shin splints cause pain or tenderness along the shin bone from inflamed muscles,... ...

Fit to a Tee: The Basics of Golf

Think golf is just a slow-paced game for businessmen in plaid pants? Think again – it might be worth taking... ...

9 Ways to Exercise When You Don’t Have Time

You know exercise can help improve your health and lose weight. Yet, 1 in 4 adults doesn’t exercise, according... ...

Healthy Diet for Men Over 50

Apart from an anti-ageing diet, men above fifty need to follow certain rules and makes changes in their menu for...
Teens: Too Young to Pump Iron?

Teens: Too Young to Pump Iron?

Boys are bombarded by images of male models and movie stars that equate beefed-up, muscular bodies with male sex...

How to prevent Body Odour?

Each and every inch of human body has a dissimilar smell (yes, the bad one); occasionally the odour is so idiosyncratic...

Radiofrequency for noninvasive body contouring turns up the heat for results

Yokneam Illit, Israel — Among the various aesthetic device technologies used to treat skin laxity, cellulite...
Healthy Fruit Kebabs

Healthy Fruit Kebabs

Let this food recipe be another of your nutritional trips without compromising on your taste buds. This fruit salad...
Simple Swaps! Make Healthy Food Even Healthier

Simple Swaps! Make Healthy Food Even Healthier

Looking for easy ways to boost the nutritional value in your food? These foods have a reputation for being healthy,...