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Iron deficiency

The most common nutrition-related disease in the world is iron deficiency anemia. The final stage of long-term chronic iron deficiency is anemia. While the most common symptoms of iron deficiency anemia are fatigue and weakness in the beginning, as the severity of anemia increases, we can see disorders in the epithelial tissues, especially the tongue, nails, mouth and stomach.

When we look at the main reasons for iron deficiency anemia;
-Inadequate dietary intake of iron
-Inadequate absorption due to absorption disorders (Gastrointestinal disorders)
-Increased iron need in infancy, adolescence, pregnancy and lactation
-Increased loss during menstrual period in women
-We can say that there are hemoglobinopathies.

Iron deficiency is usually treated with an iron-rich diet and iron supplements, but parenteral iron dextran can be administered in cases where anemia is severe and iron supplementation cannot correct it.

There are two different types of iron we get from our diet:
1) Heme iron; It is of animal origin and is easily absorbed in the body (absorbed at a rate of 25%).
2) Non-heme iron; It is of plant origin and is hardly absorbed in the body (absorbed at a rate of 5%).

So what should we pay attention to in our diet?
▪First, let’s include iron sources in our diet. When we look at good iron sources,
Red meat;
Legumes (dry beans, lentils, kidney beans, chickpeas, broad beans);
Dried fruits;
Molasses made by concentrating grape and other fruit juices;
Dark green leafy vegetables;
Cereals enriched with iron;
protein bars
▪Let’s consume animal and vegetable iron sources together in the same meal.
▪Let’s add foods rich in vitamin C to meals because vitamin C increases the absorption of plant-derived iron.
▪Instead of consuming coffee and tea with meals, let’s consume them between meals.
▪Let’s consume calcium sources such as milk and yoghurt between meals, as they will reduce iron absorption.

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