Iron deficiency is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies in the world, around 30%, that is, 2 billion people are affected by a lack of iron.
Those most affected by iron deficiency are mainly the group of women. However, the total abandonment of meat and fish puts even more at risk of suffering from iron deficiency in both men and women.
What is iron
Iron is an essential trace mineral that the body cannot produce on its own. It is especially important for the formation of haemoglobin, which gives the red pigment to the blood and therefore improves oxygen transport. Daily, the body loses an average of 1 to 2 mg of iron, so it must be administered with daily food.
Iron deficiency causes
Iron in the diet meets more normal requirements. But the deficiency can increase, for example in pregnancy or in the menstrual period, where there is usually a greater iron deficiency.
During pregnancy and lactation, the increased need for iron in many cases cannot be compensated through diet. In this case, the ingestion of iron tablets is required. Even children in the growth and puberty phase need more iron.
Insufficient iron intake:
People who do not eat animal foods often have decreased iron levels. Many vegetables and other foods that supplant meat in the vegetarian diet do contain enough iron - it is true, but it is in a way that the body cannot easily absorb it.
· Heavy period bleeding
· Prolonged bleeding due to ulcers
· Chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract
· Haemorrhoid bleeding led to loss of iron.
· High physical stress increases the loss of minerals and trace elements through the kidneys and sweat.
Symptoms of iron deficiency
The body can compensate for the lack of iron in a specific period, but while it can trigger some symptoms such as the appearance of damaged hair and brittle nails, dry skin, cracked mouth, lesions of the lining of the mouth and oesophagus and burning in the language.
If the number of red blood cells that carry oxygen decreases, cellular oxygenation also deteriorates. Consequently, the body is lacking in iron for a long time, which can lead to anaemia with symptoms such as persistent fatigue, decreased energy and poor concentration, paleness, dizziness and headache, tingling in the hands and legs. legs. With iron deficiency the body is generally more susceptible to disease.
How to get enough iron
You can eat 3 to 4 times a week a portion of lean meat (organic meat of young free-range cattle)
Whole grains and legumes such as lentils or white beans provide iron and other valuable minerals for the proper functioning of the body.
Combine your meals with vegetables rich in vitamin C, such as bell peppers, Brussels sprouts, cabbage or potatoes or enjoy a glass of orange juice before dinner.
You can consult the list of foods rich in iron that should not be missing in your diet.
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