Anemia and low iron levels getting you down? If you are craving for a day where you aren’t tired or low on energy, we’ve got some tricks up our sleeve that could help!
If you’ve got iron-deficiency anemia, you need to work at upping your intake of iron to get your hemoglobin (Hb) levels on track. Since your body doesn’t make any iron of its own, whatever you need has to be consumed or taken in via supplements or medication.
Tank Up On These Iron-Rich Foods
Your body can’t make iron and depends on the food you eat for its iron needs. So loading up on the right foods is vital. Iron-rich foods aren’t just meat-based. There are plenty of plant sources of iron too. Here’s a quick roundup:
7 More Hacks To Beat Iron Deficiency
Fixing your anemia isn’t just about having more iron-rich foods. You can also aid its absorption or improve your blood profile overall with the right moves.
Remember, for a severe deficiency or anemia from other causes, you may also need to take medication or treatment alongside. Always have your condition diagnosed by a medical professional first.
1. Aim at animal sources of iron if you are a non-vegetarian. The body better absorbs the iron in meat, seafood, and chicken than what’s found in plant sources. So, if you have a choice, pick lean animal proteins for quicker results.
2. Have your iron-rich food with some vitamin C. Vitamin C helps your body absorb iron better, so consider squeezing in some lime or adding any citrus fruit, juice, or vegetables like red and yellow capsicum to your iron-rich meals. You could:
- Make a Middle-Eastern dip from roasted capsicum and cashew nuts blended together and finished with a squeeze of lime.
- Swap out the paneer in your palak paneer with some tofu which is also rich in iron and add lots of vitamin C rich tomatoes.
- Stir fry your chicken with some vitamin C-rich broccoli.
- Have your meat with roasted Brussel sprouts, another great source of vitamin C.
3. Swap out sugar for traditionally made jaggery as your sweetener. When jaggery is made the traditional way, some of the iron from the cast-iron vessels it is made in leaches into the jaggery, giving you little doses of iron. Of course, this varies from brand to brand, so pick carefully and use in moderation.
Remember, don’t make jaggery your primary way to get iron – you’d need far too much to meet the daily quota. Instead, simply swap the empty calories of sugar for a sweet alternative that helps your cause a little more.
4. Have wheatgrass shots! Yes, there’s something to that “fad” that made the rounds. The chlorophyll in wheatgrass resembles your body’s own hemoglobin. Plus, folic acid, iron, and vitamin B12 in it has anti-anemic properties, all of which can work wonders for your blood.
5. Add amla to your diet. The Indian gooseberry or amla has been known to help improve the blood profile of test subjects in animal studies. Ayurveda uses it in anemia remedies like triphala. It’s also a great source of vitamin C, so there’s no harm adding some to mealtimes! Make chutneys and homemade pickles or relishes form it to liven up any meal or blend some into your juices or smoothies.
6. Cook in iron skillets and kadais. As you cook your food, the metal will also slowly enrich your food with iron and improve hemoglobin levels over time.
7. Plus, add in a side of exercise. Yes, working out and exercise can actually boost your body’s new blood cell formation – and more blood and more hemoglobin is good news if you are anemic. While this isn’t upping your iron intake directly, it helps considerably.