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How can we prevent iron deficiency anemia?

A healthy and balanced diet is essential to stay in shape and fight any ailment. If we want to prevent iron deficiency anemia, we can increase the intake of foods rich in iron.

There are two types of iron. Heme iron is found in foods of animal origin and non-heme iron is found in vegetables. Heme iron has a greater capacity for absorption. If we want to increase iron levels it is much more advisable to follow a mixed diet that includes meat and vegetables than a vegetarian diet.

Vitamin C helps the absorption of iron. Taking supplements or foods rich in iron together with foods rich in vitamin C facilitates the assimilation of this necessary mineral.

Vitamin A and beta-carotene, besides being powerful antioxidants, also enhance iron assimilation and can be found in vegetables such as carrots, pumpkin, spinach, red bell pepper, apricots and tomatoes.

If we drink tea or coffee after meals, we will be hindering the absorption of iron. The polyphenols present in these beverages form a complex with the iron ingested and hinder its assimilation.

Milk, caffeine-rich beverages, alcohol or chocolate hinder iron absorption. Best to avoid them if you are taking oral supplements or eating an iron-rich diet.

For the prevention of iron deficiency anemia, it is also important to perform a blood test periodically. We will be able to check that everything is in order or on the contrary to know if we need any supplement.

We should never start an iron treatment on our own. Excess iron can be toxic to our organism causing serious effects to our health. If you suspect anemia, you should always consult a medical team.

The best time to take an iron supplement is one or two hours after meals on an empty stomach, when it reaches the stomach absorption will be much greater.

Some people do not tolerate oral irons. They may cause gastrointestinal discomfort such as nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. In this case it is advisable to take it with a small amount of food.

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