Iron is an important micro nutrient. It is needed for proper functioning of cells and also for a healthy immune system, brain function and muscle strength. Iron deficiency is the top most cause of anemia.
The micro nutrient is an important component of hemoglobin (Hb), which carries oxygen from lungs to transport it throughout the body. Hb represents two-thirds of the body’s iron. Lack of sufficient iron means that your body will not be able to make enough of oxygen-carrying red blood cells.
According to UNICEF, India has the largest number of young people, aged 10-19 years in the world – 243 million out of 1.2 billion. This age group comprise one-fourth of India’s population. However, 56 per cent of girls and 30 per cent of boys in the age group of 15-19 years in India suffer from anemia. Given the grave numbers, it is pertinent that adequate measures are taken to improve Hb level.
Kinds of iron
Haem iron and non-haem iron are the two kinds of iron. The former can be obtained from animal food sources, while the latter can be obtained from both plants and animals. Of the two, haem iron is easier to absorb in the body.
Some simple home remedies that help boost iron levels in the body are:
1. Sesame seeds (black til)
They are loaded with iron, copper, zinc, selenium and vitamin B6, folate and E.
Take about 1 tablespoon of black sesame seeds, dry roast, blend with a teaspoon of honey & ghee and roll into a ball. Have this nutritious ladoo regularly to boost your iron levels.
2. Dates & Raisins
This amazing dry fruit
combination comes with richness of iron, magnesium, copper, and vitamins A and C.
Have 2-3 dates and a tablespoon of raisins as a snack or with your breakfast which provide you with instant energy and augment iron levels.
3. Beets & Carrots
We all know about high iron in these two.
In a blender add about one cup of chopped beetroots and carrots, blend well, strain the juice and mix a teaspoon of lemon juice and drink this amazing juice regularly in the morning. Lemon juice adds to the vitamin C content and enhances the absorption of iron.
4. Wheat grass
It provides an excellent source of beta-carotene, vitamin K, folic acid, calcium, iron, protein, and fiber, vitamin C, many of the B vitamins, and contains a variety of blood-building factors.
Just having it 1 tsp (3-5 gms) daily first thing in the morning guarantees improvement in your hb & protection to your immune system.
5. Moringa Leaves
Moringa leaves are imbued with ample amounts of iron, vitamins A, C and magnesium.
Just have 1 tsp moringa leaf powder everyday in morning on empty stomach.
How to improve absorption of iron in the body?
1. Vitamin C rich foods help in better absorption of iron. It captures non-haem iron and stores it in a form that the body can easily absorb. One such food combination is almonds (iron) and oranges (vitamin c). Vitamin C in orange can improve absorption of iron you get from almonds.
2. Avoid eating tea or coffee with meals as they contain tannin and caffeine which can inhibit absorption of iron in the body.
3. Avoid taking calcium rich foods or calcium supplements along with iron rich foods as calcium also interferes with absorption of iron.
4. Cook in iron cookware to add iron to your meals.