Iron is an essential element for blood production. About 70 percent of our body’s iron is found in the red blood cells called hemoglobin and in muscle cells called myoglobin.
Hemoglobin is an iron-rich protein that regulates oxygen throughout the body. Low levels of hemoglobin can cause iron deficiency in the body which can be visible through symptoms like fatigue, hair loss, headache, dizziness and rapid heartbeat. Myoglobin, in muscle cells, accepts, stores, transports and releases oxygen.
A large number of people across the world suffer from iron deficiency without being aware of it. In order to deal with this, one should get an annual checkup done. For adult men, the normal level of hemoglobin required is 14 to 18 g/dl and for adult women, it’s 12 to 16 g/dl.
According to the recommended dietary intake, men above 19 years of age should consume about 8 milligrams of iron daily. On the other hand, women aged between 19-50 years of age are required to consume 18 milligrams of iron daily.
Here are some interesting ways to increase hemoglobin levels in our body:
Smoothie is a drink made from pureed raw fruits or vegetables. If you are fond of healthy smoothies, then you need to try this iron-loaded smoothie which is a perfect breakfast or post-workout drink.
With just three ingredients one can put up a nutritious smoothie in the easiest way possible. Just add a handful of spinach leaves to a blender, along with chopped beetroot and apples and blend everything and can even add a spoon of honey for some sweetness.
One apple contains 0.31 milligrams of iron while 100 grams of beetroot contains 0.8 milligrams. Spinach is the richest source of iron as it contains 4 milligrams per 100 grams.
It’s quite normal that sometimes hunger cravings hit us at weird times, then munch on some nutritious trail mix. One can easily make a customized trail mix at home by mixing some nuts and seeds.
Some iron-rich items that can go in the trail mix are almonds, raisins, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, dried apricots, peanuts, cashews, sesame seeds, walnuts and hazelnuts.
Seasonal fruits like watermelon, pomegranate, apple and strawberries, all are power-packed with iron, can chop everything into bite-sized pieces and mix them to make a delicious fruit salad.
Vitamin C intake
Eating vitamin C-rich foods is said to increase the body’s iron absorption rate. Apart from this, vitamin C-rich foods also help in boosting immunity. One can eat fruits like oranges, papaya, lemon, strawberries, broccoli, bell peppers, grapefruit and tomatoes.
Here are some delicious iron-rich food options that can make your meal both wholesome and filling. If white rice is a regular part of your diet, then replace it with brown rice. 100 grams of brown rice contain about 0.5 milligrams of iron.
Soybeans are another rich source of iron. 100 grams of soybeans contain a whopping 15.7 milligrams of iron. You can also increase your iron intake by including barley, quinoa, and oatmeal in your diet.