Ep 56. Iron Rich Foods to Prevent Deficiency
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There are populations in society who have a higher propensity of developing iron deficiency due to lifestyle and health issues.
Women, children and seniors have an increased risk for having low iron stores and hence, may end up with iron deficiency anemia. Healthy men on the other hand, generally have adequate iron stores and too much iron can be detrimental for health, in terms of developing chronic disease in the long-term.
There are different types of iron in our foods.
Heme iron - animal sources
Non-Heme Iron - plant sources
Animal sources of iron are more readily absorbed in our diet and there are strategies that people can incorporate to help increase the absorption of iron in the diet.
There is a myth that most vegetarians end up with iron deficiency anemia. This is a misconception. Iron is a nutrient of concern for people who don't include animal products in their diet, but, there's not a higher proportion of vegetarians who are anemic compared with non-vegetarians.
Iron deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency in North America but there's not a higher proportion of vegetarians compared to non-vegetarians who develop anemia. Low iron is common in people who eat meat and animal foods too. Generally, it's more related to the quality of the diet overall.
When we eat, there are certain things we do that may increase or decrease the absorption of the iron that we have in our meals and snacks.
In this episode, we discuss factors that help increase absorption and factors that decrease absorption of iron in our gut. We discuss strategies for meal planning to maximize iron absorption and meal & snack ideas that are iron-rich.
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