Be an iron lady
Taking up iron stores in the body is possible with iron rich foods and correct food combinations. Just follow these tips
I want you to remember that serving size matters so while 100 grams of jaggery may give you 10 mg iron, one cannot eat 100 grams of jaggary in the day. That is why I plan your meals keeping a check on iron values in each foods serving size.
Globally, reproductive age women and young children are most vulnerable to anaemia, so when I get clients in these age groups with low levels I tell them to chill. Taking up Iron stores in the body is possible with Iron rich foods and correct food combinations. Just follow my tips.
Coming to dietary Iron food sources, the easiest addition in your diet is Vitamin C! You read that right, Vitamin C is Iron's best friend as in its presence, Iron is easily absorbed in the body. Make it a thumb rule to squeeze lemon juice over all your foods. Bonus: In summer, Vitamin C rich plus iron mango (raw or ripe) is an excellent addition in diet. In your vegetarian protein foods, I would advise you to always add Vitamin C in the forms of tomato, garcinia combodia (kokum), tamarind (imli) etc.
Many leafy greens like drumstick, curry leaf, fenugreek leaves are rich in iron but the dried powder form provide a higher source of iron.
Through grains, pulses and daals the best way to absorb the Iron and increase its bioavailability is by soaking, sprouting, fermenting, or germinating them.
Seeds are another great source of Iron. Fenugreek seeds, sesame seeds, garden cress seeds and chia (sabja) seeds all have good amounts.
If you can, opt to cook your foods in Iron works as the food may pick up trace amounts of iron from the vessel itself.
While Vitamin C and Iron are best friends, Calcium and Iron are enemies as when had in a meal combination, Calcium reduces the bioavailability of iron by half. I tell my clients to avoid any diary foods with iron rich sources if they want to increase their Iron stores.
Another key point to remember is that certain food compounds like tannins and caffeine bind to Iron and prevent it from being absorbed. My simplest way to avoid this is by keeping a half an hour gap between tea or coffee and any meal.
Keep a regular check on your Vitamin B12 and Vitamin B9 (folate) levels as they too play an important role in the formation of Red Blood Cells in the body and if low, can lead to other kinds of anaemia.
Be an iron lady.