When your immunity decreases and you get tired easily, failing to concentrate, then you are probably suffering from the most common nutritional disorder in the world called anaemia. So what you need is a diet that will increase your iron intake and get you back to reverse this deficiency. The dietary allowance that is recommended for an adult man or woman over the age of 51 is 8mg a day. Women who fall in the age bracket of 19-50 need 18 mg a day.
A Meal Plan
Kick start the day with a high-iron breakfast meal. Iron-fortified instant oatmeal with 4Tbsp of raisins and a cup of orange juice contains 13 mg of iron. The orange juice will help to improve absorption. Coffee and tea is not advisable as it prevents iron absorption but you can have it in-between meals in this kind of diet.
For the mid day meal you can include a meat sandwich and palak (spinach) soup if possible with iron rich bread. A cup of strawberries, carrot sticks and low-fat yoghurt along with it will have 5 mg of iron. In fact whole grains reduce iron absorption so refined flour products like white breads will be beneficial for your high-iron diet.
Baked potato with 1 tsp of margarine and roasted chicken breasts make up for a healthy dinner option. Steamed broccoli and a cup of baked beans make up for a meal containing 5.6 mg of iron and again the vitamin c in the baked potato and broccoli will let you increase the iron absorption.
Those on the Move
There are readily available packaged and whole-grain and enriched breads and cereals containing iron that comes handy while travelling. Some more easy to carry iron-rich foods are laddoos, peanut and jaggery chikkis, walnuts, nachni khakras, almonds and wheatgrass powder(sachets available at pharmacies), raisins, nuts etc. Check the food labels to know about the iron content.
The Foods Containing Iron
Spinach, dry fruits (almonds and walnuts), whole dals like soybean, chana, rajma and whole grain cereals like brown rice, bajra, jowar, black sesame seeds, wheat grass, black raisins, jaggery, honey, eggs and wheat germs are rich sources of iron and should be included in different form for various meals of the day. Some of the iron-rich vegetables are coriander leaves, radish, green onions, methi leaves, celery and carrots. Your diet should also include home-made cottage cheese, eggs and milk and an adequate intake of vitamin B12 and vitamin C. Tomatoes in different forms are very good. Deep breathing and light walking also helps.
A Non-Vegetarian Iron-Rich Diet
Heam iron sources are provided by animal tissues like meats that are readily absorbed, of which the best organ meats are fish, liver, seafood and chicken.
Foods to be Avoided
Tea and coffee inhibits assimilation of iron as it contains acids that bind up dietary iron making it indigestible. So the beverages that need to be included are spinach, mint, coriander, carrot, beetroot and tomato juices.
Iron supplements are recommended only if they are required as you should not end up storing excessive iron. But if you must then ferrous sulphate and ferrous fumarate can be taken combined with vitamin C.
It can thus be included that it is important to restore the lost iron back to the body as iron carries oxygen around the body. So an iron-rich diet should be incorporated for all anaemic people.