Iron is an essential element in our body for blood production. About 70 per cent of your body’s iron is found in a protein in the red blood cells called haemoglobin which is responsible for transferring oxygen from our lungs to our tissues. Deficiency of iron can cause anaemia and leave people feeling fatigued most of the time. It can also cause dizziness, lightheadedness, low concentration, irritability, paleness of skin, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, brittle nails, damaged hair. Many iron-rich food items are also high in phytic acid. Phytic acid binds to iron and other minerals, preventing its absorption. Hence often it is recommended to combine iron-rich food with some other nutrient-rich food item to increase the body’s iron absorption. One strategy is to eat foods that are rich in vitamin C along with foods that are rich in iron as vitamin c significantly increases the absorption of non-heme iron.
Here are Five food combinations that increase iron in your body:
- Spinach + Bell Peppers: Spinach is a rich source of iron, and bell peppers are high in vitamin C. Spinach is also known as a superfood which aids in reducing blood sugar levels, protects eyes, and maintains bone health. Hence adding bell peppers to your salad for spinach based curries is a great way to have iron in your body.
- Lentils + Lemon Juice: Lentils, whatever the types are a great source of iron for the body. They are easy to cook, rich in antioxidants and also known to reduce the risk of heart diseases. Indians generally tend to consume lentils in the form of daals every day but a great hack to increase iron absorption from the lentils is to add a little bit of lemon juice to your daals. It also adds a great kick to the regular dish!
- Broccoli + Tomatoes: Broccoli is high in antioxidants and is known to boost the immune system, and tomatoes are a rich source of vitamin c, This a great combo to keep in mind while you make salads.
- Kale + Orange: Kale again is a rich source of iron. Kale is known to be high in nutrients and low in calories, making it one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. Kale also helps lower cholesterol, which can reduce the risk of heart disease. This combination can be used in smoothies and stir-fries.
- Dark chocolates + Strawberries: ending the list with a dessert is this combo of dark chocolate and strawberries. Dark chocolate is a rich source of iron and is also rich in antioxidants, known to improve brain function and reduce the risk of heart disease. Strawberries are a well-known source of vitamin c. This combination can be used in various desserts, smoothies or one can take some strawberries to dip them and in liquid dark chocolate and enjoy a luxurious yet nutritious dessert!!