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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Iron Rich Foods for Iron Deficiency Anemia

[Extracted from the website of]

For iron deficiency anemia in women, a diet with iron rich foods along with iron supplements is often recommended. Absorption of iron from food is influenced by multiple factors. One important factor being the form of the iron. Heme Iron, found in animal sources, is highly available for absorption. Non-heme iron on the other hand, found in vegetable sources, less available. Iron rich foods of an iron rich diet are listed below :

Iron Rich Foods containing Heme Iron

Excellent Sources
# Clams
# Pork Liver
# Oysters
# Chicken Liver
# Mussels
# Beef Liver

Good Sources

# Beef
# Shrimp
# Sardines
# Turkey

Iron Rich Foods containing Non-Heme Iron

Excellent Sources

# Enriched breakfast cereals
# Cooked beans and lentils
# Pumpkin seeds
# Blackstrap Molasses

Good Sources

# Canned beans
# Baked potato with skin
# Enriched pasta
# Canned asparagus

Pregnant women should not eat liver because of its very high Vitamin A content. Large amounts of Vitamin A can be harmful to the baby.

The absorption of Non-heme iron can be improved when a source of heme iron is consumed in the same meal. In addition, the iron absorption-enhancing foods can also increase the absorption of non-heme iron. While some food items can enhance iron absorption, some can inhibit or interfere iron absorption. Avoid eating them with the iron-rich foods to maximize iron absorption.

Iron Absorption Enhancers

* Meat/fish/poultry
* Orange, Orange Juice, cantaloupe, strawberries, grapefruit etc
* Broccoli, brussels sprouts, tomato, tomato juice, potato, green & red peppers
* White wine

Iron Absorption Inhibitors

* Red Wine, Coffee & Tea
* Spinach, chard, beet greens, rhubarb and sweet potato
* Whole grains and bran
* Soy product

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