5 Ways to Increase Iron Levels in Your Blood
Iron is a trace element that is essential in the formation of hemoglobin and red blood cells. That’s why having good levels of iron in your blood is vital for a healthy body.
When iron levels decrease, your tissues don’t get enough oxygen. This can cause weakness, fatigue, and anemia. Thus, if your doctor has told you that you have an iron deficiency, follow their advice and, if they recommend it, check out the following tips.
1. Eat foods rich in iron
Firstly, to keep up good iron levels in your blood, it’s important to eat a healthy, balanced diet.
This is because the main cause of low iron is poor nutrition. Since iron is a mineral, you can find it naturally in foods, both animal and plant-based.
- Iron found in animal-based foods is the kind your body absorbs more easily. The main source is meat (especially red meat).
- Iron found in plants is absorbed more slowly, but it’s equally as good for you. The best options are legumes, leafy green vegetables, and tree nuts.
Want to learn more? 9 Blood-Cleansing Herbs and Spices
2. Increase your consumption of foods that are rich in vitamin C
In order for iron to be absorbed well, it needs to turn into ferritin. This process occurs due to the action of gastric juice, which contains hydrochloric acid and the presence of vitamin C. For this reason, it is necessary to include in the diet more acidic foods rich in vitamin C such as lemon, orange, strawberries, broccoli and bell pepper.
Please note, although vitamin C is important for your immune system and iron absorption, too much of it can lead to a folic acid deficiency. It’s best not to consume more than two citrus pieces per day.
3. Moderate your consumption of iron-blocking foods
Just as some foods increase your iron levels, others decrease them and you mustn’t eat them. Has your doctor diagnosed you with anemia or an iron deficiency? Don’t eat the following:
- Eggs. The phosvitin they contain prevents your body from absorbing plant-based iron.
- Milk. The calcium in dairy products inhibits iron absorption from animal and plant products when you consume more than 300mg per day.
- Tea. The oxalate in it affects the absorption of iron from plants. It’s not recommended to drink tea with foods that have a lot of iron.
- Chocolate and coffee. Their phenolic compounds inhibit iron absorption from plants.
- Nuts. The phytates that they and other seeds contain act as strong iron blockers and can reduce the absorption of iron by 50-65%.
4. Take iron supplements if you are pregnant or if your doctor prescribes it.
Are you are pregnant? You might have to take iron supplements to meet your body’s energy demands and the iron needs of your fetus for its proper development. Consult your doctor about this to find out what is right for you.
Depending on why your iron levels are low, consult your doctor before starting to take a supplement. It should be noted that supplements aren’t necessary in all cases and not all supplements are right for everyone.
Let your doctor know if you’ve been diagnosed with an iron deficiency and after a few months discover that you are pregnant.
They may advise you to have a blood test and tell you if you need to make any changes to your diet after evaluating your results.
Check out this article: Eat These Foods to Raise Your Levels of Iron
5. Avoid large amounts of dietary fiber
Dietary fiber has several important jobs in your body, like regulating digestion, helping reduce cholesterol levels in the blood, and protecting you from some chronic diseases, like colonic neoplasms.
Although eating fiber is great for you, eating too much fiber can be counterproductive when you have low levels of iron in your blood.
Since it’s a laxative, iron passes through your digestive system faster. This means that you absorb less iron.
A salad to increase iron levels
Although these tips are rather simple to implement, maybe you don’t know where to start to raise iron levels in your blood. In this case, try this salad.
- A c. of arugula
- 1 c. of spinach
- Lean red beef
- A sectioned grapefruit, without skin or seeds
- Salt and freshly ground pepper (a pinch, to taste)
- Firstly season the steak or other red meat and grill it.
- Then, cut the grilled meat in bite-size pieces.
- Mix the meat, vegetables, and grapefruit in a bowl.
- Finally, season with a little bit of salt and freshly ground pepper and eat it right away.
Always take care of yourself and eat healthy
Low consumption of iron-rich foods can lead to anemia, among other complications.
Thus, you must always follow your doctor’s recommendations as they’re wellness experts and can best advise you about what’s best for your health.
To conclude, here are some causes of low hemoglobin
Some diseases like aplastic anemia don’t allow your body to produce the necessary red blood cells. It happens when your body doesn’t generate enough new blood cells. Moreover, the condition leads to fatigue and makes you susceptible to infections and bleeding.
Another is thalassemia, an inherited disease that depletes the hemoglobin in your body, leading to anemia and fatigue. In addition, a deficiency of vitamins B12 and folate and C, as well as iron, has a negative impact on your red blood cells. Thus, sickle cell anemia, an inherited condition, leads to a decrease in the production of red blood cells so it impacts their amount of oxygen they can carry.
Furthermore, other causes of low hemoglobin include cancer in the bone marrow, kidney disease, and some thyroid-related conditions like hypothyroidism. By the way, burning 10% of your body could lead to anemia.
In short, consult your doctor if you feel tired or weak as these symptoms could be the result of low hemoglobin.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
de la Cruz García, G. (2020). Utilidad de la eritropoyetina en el paciente quemado grave con anemia. Revisión del tema. Gaceta Médica Espirituana, 22(1), 60-70. http://scielo.sld.cu/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1608-89212020000100060
MEDISAN. (2009). Importancia del consumo de hierro y vitamina C para la prevención de anemia ferropénica. [online] Available at: http://bvs.sld.cu/revistas/san/vol13_6_09/san14609.pdf [Accessed 1 Nov. 2017].
- Pita-Rodríguez G. y cols. (2013). El bajo consumo de alimentos ricos en hierro y potenciadores de su absorción se asocia con anemia en preescolares cubanos de las provincias orientales. Revista Chilena de Nutrición, [online] (3). Available at: https://scielo.conicyt.cl/pdf/rchnut/v40n3/art03.pdf [Accessed 1 Nov. 2017].