Tuesday, January 20, 2015

BE AN IRON WOMAN


Many women wake up feeling tired. This is a symptom of  anaemia. Four million women worldwide are affected by anaemia. Anaemia is often mistaken as a mild condition that results in fatigue, weakness, headaches, pale skin, brittle nails and dizziness.
However,apart from these symptoms and other conditions like cold feet and hands, irregular heartbeat and menstrual cycle and decreased sex drive at the worst, anaemia can also cause infertility in women, fainting and premature delivery if a woman is pregnant.


What is iron-deficiency anaemia?


Most women suffer from iron deficiency anaemia. This is an insufficient amount of red blood cells as well as haemoglobins compared to what a woman's body needs. A woman needs 18mg of iron daily and during the menopausal cycle she needs 20mg along with 800-1200mg of calcium to improve bone density. Iron in the woman's body helps transport oxygen to cells in different parts of the body and helps producing red blood cells making a woman active,alert and vivacious.
Anaemia is caused by the loss of excessive blood. If the body has a problem making  red blood cells and if a break -down of red blood cells happens faster than the body can replace them. Faulty or poor eating habits can also lead to anaemia. The best way to fight anaemia is by eating healthy food.

Foods that fight anaemia:




Red meat is a rich source of iron and is easily absorbed by the body. The darker the meat, the more the iron content. Poultry and fish too contain good amounts of iron. Leg meat, liver and oily fish like mussels and oysters have more iron compared with other meat. Eating green leafy vegetable is another way to boost iron intake. Watercress, spinach, kale besides dried herbs like thyme and basil contain very high iron. Also, bay leaf, black pepper, fenugreek and sesame seeds, lentils and beans, soya products,apricots, prunes, peaches and raisins.
 
Iron supplements:


  
If you still feel that you have an iron deficiency talk to your doctor about an iron supplement and only take one when your doctor advises. Iron supplements many times include vitamin B12 and folic acid also important for women and a deficiency of which can result in megaloblastic anaemia.

Include them:



Sometimes, despite eating healthy food our body fails to absorb the iron from our diet. The solution is to eat foods that help the body to absorb iron. Fluids that contain vitamin C should be taken along with food containing iron or iron supplements. Orange and tomato juice, strawberry and broccoli helps in the absorption of iron.

Avoid them:
 Beverages like caffeine and tea when taken during meals obstruct iron absorption. Calcium and iron when taken together interact and iron cannot be absorbed by the body. Take them at least 90mins apart. If you are eating yogurt or drinking milk,follow the above 90 minute rule. 

 

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