Iron is one of the most important minerals that is essential for the normal functioning of the body. The largest volume of this microelement (approximately 2/3) is found in blood hemoglobin, so it is important to monitor its level, check-up regularly and, if necessary, adjust your diet.
Why do you need hemoglobin
The main function of hemoglobin is to transport oxygen to the cells of the body and to all its organs and tissues. If this indicator is low in a person, the body is in a state of oxygen starvation - hypoxia. The key functions of the organs and systems of the body, in which iron is involved, are DNA synthesis, detoxification of the body, proper functioning of the thyroid gland and the immune system, and metabolism. For example, if a person has a deficiency of this trace element, most likely, he will often get sick, catch cold easily, and recovery from ailments will take longer.
Yulia Bobeika Holistic nutritionist, POLEZZNO brand expert
How to understand how much iron a person gets per day
The main source of iron intake is nutrition. To determine if you are getting enough of it from your diet, you can do the following:
find any online calorie calculator; add all consumed foods to the application during the week; analyze food for the week; sum up the data on the hardware and divide by 7.
This will give you your daily average. The norm from food is about 8-10 mg per day. In women, the need for iron is higher, as they lose it regularly, from puberty, when the menstrual cycle begins, and until menopause.
How to adjust your diet to increase hemoglobin
There are 2 types of iron that comes to us from the diet:
heme. It is obtained from animal products (meat, by-products, poultry, fish), it has a fairly high digestibility - about 30%. In the diet, the amount of such products should be 15–20%. non-heme, it should make up 80-85% of the diet, since plant foods have a lower absorption of iron - about 10%.
What foods help increase hemoglobin in the blood
It is worth paying attention to plant foods with a maximum iron content in the composition:
Oat flakes - up to 30 mg iron per 100 g of product Seaweed - 25 mg of iron per 100 g of product Soybeans - 16 mg of iron per 100 g of product Lentils - 12 mg of iron per 100 g of product Beans - 10 mg of iron per 100 g of product Sesame - 9 mg iron per 100 g of product Buckwheat - 8 mg of iron per 100 g of product Goji berries - 6.8 mg of iron per 100 g of product Hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios - 5 mg of iron per 100 g of product Dark 90% chocolate - 4 mg of iron per 100 g of product Spinach and any other dark greens - 4 mg of iron per 100 g of product Quince, pears, persimmons - 2-3 mg of iron per 100 g of product
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For people with low hemoglobin levels, it is very important to include in the diet foods rich in complete protein - these are animal products. I especially want to highlight eggs and meat: they contain iron, a large amount of balanced, easily digestible protein and vitamins of group B. Of fish and seafood, one can note mackerel, tuna, shellfish and any caviar, they contain not only a lot of iron, but also omega-3 fatty acids … No less valuable are offal (for example, beef or chicken liver) - in addition to iron, they contain B vitamins, which contribute to its absorption.
In addition, it is important to remember that iron, so necessary to increase the level of hemoglobin, cannot be fully absorbed without certain factors. For example, for its absorption in the gastrointestinal tract and the synthesis of hemoglobin, vitamin C, B vitamins (especially folic acid), omega-3 and omega-6 unsaturated fatty acids are required.
Yulia Bobeika Holistic nutritionist, POLEZZNO brand expert
The absorption of iron is also influenced by the state of the digestive system. The trace mineral is absorbed in the duodenum, but only if your intestines are healthy. Various diseases of the digestive system reduce the bioavailability of iron. Also, tannins from tea, coffee, cocoa can reduce the absorption of iron; various drugs to reduce the acidity of gastric juice; directly low acidity of gastric juice. In addition, the situation with iron absorption can be improved by the inclusion in the menu of fruits that activate the absorption of iron and contain vitamin C. The most useful are all citrus fruits, melon, pineapple, and sour apples.
Who should definitely monitor the level of hemoglobin in the blood
The main risk group for iron deficiency is children, pregnant and lactating women, adolescent girls with the onset of their menstrual cycle, and people who intensively and regularly play sports. According to the World Health Organization, today about 2.3 billion people (almost a third of the world's population) are iron deficient. This global problem also leads to other disorders in the functioning of the body. To find out your hemoglobin level and identify a deficiency, you need to pass tests and determine the following indicators:
hemoglobin (norm for women from 130 g / l, for men from 140 g / l);
serum iron in the blood (should be in the middle of the laboratory reference values, they may differ from laboratory to laboratory); total protein level (the norm for men and women is the same - 75-80 g / l); ferritin is a protein that reflects the true presence of iron in the body (for women, the norm is from 50 to 70 μg / l., for men, from 70 to 100 μg / l.).
Based on these indicators, the doctor determines the diagnosis and prescribes therapy. If there is a serious iron deficiency in the body, it is impossible to replenish it only from products, in this case the patient will need to maintain its level with the help of special drugs and those cofactors that are listed above.
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