Iron deficiency day is celebrated on November 26 every year. The day is observed to increase awareness about the growing burden of iron deficiency faced worldwide. One of the most undermined condition, iron deficiency can lead to various other health issues. Highly prevalent in under-developed countries such as India, iron deficiency can have grave health consequences. As per WHO one-third of the world’s population is affected by iron deficiency. According to the National Centre for Biotechnology Information, Iron deficiency ranks number 9 among 26 risk factors included in the Global Burden of Diseases. National Nutrition Week 2018: Here's What Indian Nutritionists and Dietitians Have to Tell You about Health, Nutrition and Weight Loss.
Iron deficiency, as the name suggests occurs in a body when it lacks the mineral iron that may cause low levels of red blood cells (RCBs) and health issues such as anaemia. Lack of haemoglobin directly leads to lack of oxygen in your body that affects the overall functioning of the body. As per, National Institutes for Health (NIH), the RDA (Required Daily Allowance) for iron differs depending on age, sex, and health status. For example, females above the age of 19 need 18 milligrams (mg) daily, whereas men above the age of 19 may need 8 mg daily. Pregnant people may need 27 mg daily, and breastfeeding persons should aim for 9 mg daily.
However, you must know that while gaining iron from your diet is easy but the iron absorption is something that most people fail to understand. Iron absorption is a mechanism by which iron stores are physiologically manipulated and used by the body. In simpler terms, if you eat enough iron but your body fails absorption of the mineral, you may not retrieve the nutrient. Some of the foods rich in iron are, liver, lean red meat, oysters, lentils, tofu, dried fruits, such as prunes, figs, and apricots, eggs, molasses, dark-green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, seaweed, watercress, broccoli, etc.
Foods For Iron Absorption
There are certain foods that you must consume for increased absorption of iron in your body. While the list isn't very long but these types of foods are easily available and can be consumed without any fuss. Vitamin C is one of the best ways of increasing iron absorption. While you can have vitamin C supplements, a glass of orange juice can do the miracle too.
Tannis which is a compound found in tea is said to reduce iron absorption in the body. It affects majorly the non-heme iron. Iron deficiency does exhibit certain symptoms way before a person reaches the stage of anaemia. Some of the common symptoms of iron deficiency may include, fatigue, dizziness, pale skin, hair loss, weakness, pica, restless leg syndrome, etc.