An iron deficiency, which can turn into iron deficiency anemia, occurs when your body doesn’t have enough of the iron mineral.
This mineral is essential for your body to make a protein called hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to your body’s tissues.
When there isn’t enough hemoglobin in your blood stream, your body can’t get the amount of oxygen it needs…and that’s a problem.
The symptoms of iron deficiency anemia vary depending on how deprived your body is of iron.
Below are some common symptoms of iron deficiency:
- A hunger for strange substances such as paper, ice, or dirt
- Upward curvature of the nails, referred to as koilonychias
- Soreness of the mouth with cracks at the corners
- Unusual fatigue or insomnia
- Muscle cramps
If you’re experiencing one or more of these symptoms, please see your doctor immediately.
After you’ve visited your doctor and have been approved to naturally combat your iron deficiency, I recommend you try the following remedies:
Adjust Your Diet
You can easily increase your iron levels by adjusting your diet.
Most people turn to iron-dense leafy greens, fruits, and vegetables. These things are by far one of the best sources of iron you can possibly consume. Add some of the following veggies into your diet…
- Red cabbage
- Vegetable tops
- Tomato juice
- Black cherry and blackberry juice
If you eat meat, you can also incorporate different types of meat into your meal plan to up your iron levels. Here are a few things you can try…
- Beef liver
- Chicken liver
Consume Non-Heme Iron
Plant foods supply non-heme iron. This type of iron has a different chemical structure, which makes it easier to absorb into your body. This is by far the best type of iron to consume.
The best sources of non-heme iron come from chicken liver, oysters, and beef liver, which supply approximately 11, 6, and 5 milligrams per serving.
The next best source of iron is from chuck beef, dark turkey meat, ground beef, and top sirloin, which also provide considerable amounts of non-heme iron.
Add these non-heme iron-packed foods into your meal plan, and your body will thank you.
Avoid Foods That Decrease Iron Absorption
You may be eating an iron-rich diet and still have an iron deficiency.
That’s because there are groups of foods that are notorious for blocking iron absorption. If you want to increase your iron levels, cut out the following things from your diet:
- Dairy products
- High-fiber foods
If you can’t give up any of those food items, try adding extra vitamin C into your diet. Vitamin C helps your body absorb iron better, which will lead to increased iron levels in your blood.
Cook Your Food in Cast Iron Pans
Believe it or not, you can add iron to your food by cooking it in a cast iron pot. As your food cooks, it absorbs tiny bits of iron from the cooking pan.
If you’re skeptical, check out this study (one of many that have been conducted around the world) by Runners Connect. It might sound a little crazy, but it’s a great way to add a little extra iron boost to everything you eat.
Cooking your own food is a great way to stay healthy.