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3 Best Ways to Prevent Iron Deficiency Anemia

Did you know that Iron Deficiency Anemia affects 20% of the world’s population? It is also the most common type of anemia caused by poor dietary intake or iron absorption. But if you suffer from iron deficiency anemia due to lack of iron in your body, look no further for those toxic iron supplements. Just follow these three prevention methods and you are on your way to a better life.

1. Eat Iron-Rich Foods

The best food sources of iron are whole grains, legumes and fish. The best sources of herbs are green leafy vegetables such as dried lotus stems, flowering greens and leafy greens; fruits such as blackcurrants, watermelon, grapes and dried dates. However, iron from these foods is difficult for the body to absorb. It is recommended that you eat animal products that contain iron. If you mix meat, fish, or chicken with beans or dark leafy greens in your meal, you can triple your absorption of plant sources of iron. Foods rich in vitamin C also increase iron absorption.

2. Cooking Using Cast-Iron Cookwares

Did you know that cooking in cast iron pans can add significant amounts of iron to your diet and your body? Yes, it’s true and this was proven by researchers who tested 20 foods. Spicy foods that have more moisture, such as applesauce and spaghetti sauce, contain the most iron. In fact, for 100 grams of each (about 3.5 oz.), apples increased their iron content from 0.35 mg to 7.3 mg, and spaghetti sauce from 0.6 mg to 5.7 mg of iron.

Food that is cooked for a longer time contains more iron than food that is heated quickly. Foods prepared with a newer cast iron pan contain more iron than those cooked in an older cast iron pan. Foods that were cooked and stir-fried contained higher amounts of iron because they came into contact with iron more often. Foods such as hamburgers, corn tortillas, corn bread, and liver with onions will not contain much iron due to the short cooking times.

This list has been provided so that you can have a general idea of ​​the difference in dietary iron content when cooking in a cast-iron skillet:

Foods tested (100g/3.5oz) = iron content when raw = iron content after cooking in iron pan

– Apple, unsweetened = 0.35 mg = 7.38 mg

– Spaghetti sauce = 0.61 = 5.77

– Chile with meat and beans = 0.96 = 6.27

– Medium white sauce = 0.22 = 3.30

– Chopped egg = 1.49 = 4.76

– Spaghetti sauce with meat = 0.71 = 3.58

– Meat vegetable food = 0.66 = 3.4

– Fried egg = 1.92 = 3.48

– Spanish rice = 0.87 = 2.25

– Rice, white = 0.67 = 1.97

– Pan fried bacon = 0.77 = 1.92

– Boiled egg = 1.87 = 2.32

– Fried chicken = 0.88 = 1.89

– Pancakes = 0.63 = 1.31

– pan fried green beans = 0.64 = 1.18

– Hamburger grilled in a pan = 1.49 = 2.29

– Fried potatoes = 0.42 = 0.8

– Fried corn tortillas = 0.86 = 1.23

– Beef liver with fried onions = 3.1 = 3.87

– Baked cornbread = 0.67 = 0.86

3. Avoid Whole Milk in the First 12 Months of Life

Cow’s milk contains as much iron per liter as breast milk, but only a very small fraction is actually absorbed into the body. However, iron in breast milk is very well absorbed by babies. Therefore, breast milk is one of the best sources of iron for the baby providing all the iron needed (with all the nutrients and other benefits) for the first 6 months of life. Bottom line: breast milk is the best way to prevent iron deficiency in babies. If breastfeeding is not an option, or is stopped before 9-12 months of age, then give iron-fortified formulas that contain more iron instead of cow’s milk.

Things to Remember:

* Chronic blood loss, periods of high demand such as pregnancy, and vigorous exercise can cause iron deficiency.

* Do not take iron supplements unless recommended by your doctor.

* There are two types of iron: heme iron (found in animal foods) and heme iron (found in plant foods). Combining iron-rich foods with non-heme iron foods increases absorption.

* Keep iron supplements away from children – as little as one to three grams can kill a child under six.

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