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An iron-rich diet will make you feel more energised. Many of us aren’t eating enough iron, but did you know that there are lots of affordable and delicious foods that can help? Read on for the six symptoms of iron deficiency – and seven foods to add to your diet today.

Feeling light-headed, tired and being pale are all signs that you could be lacking in iron.

Iron deficiency, also known as anaemia, can be caused by not eating enough iron but can also be caused by heavy menstrual periods and pregnancy.

In addition to making you feel a bit deflated, is erythromycin effective after i stop iron deficiency can weaken your immune system and put you at greater risk of illness or infection.

Luckily there are some easy, tasty, and cheap changes to your diet you can make to get more iron.

Why do you need to eat iron?

When you eat iron-rich foods, your body takes the iron from your food and uses it to create haemoglobin. Haemoglobin is the part of red blood cells that transports oxygen around your body.

Basically, the more iron you eat the more effective oxygen is moved around your body.

Watch out for these six symptoms that could indicate that you’re low on iron:

  • Tiredness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heart palpitations
  • Pale skin
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches

If you suspect you might have an iron deficiency, you should go to your doctor who will arrange a full blood count test – this count will check whether you have the right amount of red blood cells.

The GP will also ask you some questions about your diet and lifestyle to see whether they can determine what’s causing your iron deficiency.

You might be prescribed some iron tablets to get your iron levels back up to where they need to be. But did you know that you can also raise your iron levels by changing your diet?

Seven iron-rich foods

Add these seven foods to your diet to get the spring back in your step. Aside from being full of iron, these have plenty of health benefits and will get you feeling great.

Broccoli

At 49p for a head of broccoli, this affordable leafy green vegetable is a great source of iron.

Around 150g of broccoli contains one milligram of iron, and what’s more, it’s also packed full of vitamin C which helps you to absorb iron better.

Spinach

If you want to up your iron intake, you’re going to have to make like Popeye and grab the nearest serving of spinach.

Around 100 grams of spinach contains 2.7 milligrams of iron and is also high in vitamin C and in antioxidants.

Other leafy greens like kale and watercress are also high in iron.

Tofu

Vegetarians and vegans can be at higher risk of iron deficiency if they don’t plan their diet properly, but this vegan protein is a great source of iron.

In total, 126 grams of tofu contains 3.4 milligrams of iron, and 22 grams of protein.

Tofu has been the butt of some jokes over the years with an undeserved reputation for being bland – but as long as you season and cook it properly, tofu is a delicious and healthy protein for veggies and meat-eaters alike.

Red meat

Red meat is high in iron with 100g of ground beef giving 2.7 milligrams of iron.

Red meat can form part of a healthy diet but is best enjoyed in moderation, as too much red meat can lead to other health problems.

Quinoa

This healthy whole grain is packed with iron. In a 185 gram serving, there are 2.8 milligrams of iron.

Quinoa is also high in protein and suitable for gluten-free diets.

Fish

Certain types of fish, including tuna, are particularly high in iron.

An 85 gram serving of tinned tuna can contain up to 1.4 milligrams of iron. Haddock, mackerel and sardines are also full of iron.

Lentils

Delicious in curries or salads, lentils and other legumes are another super-healthy form of iron.

A 198 gram serving of cooked lentils contains a whopping 6.6 milligrams of iron.

In addition to improving your iron levels, legumes are high in soluble fibre, making them great for weight loss.

What foods should I avoid?

Some foods and drinks can actually stop you from absorbing iron properly. These include:

  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Milk and dairy products

So if a suspected lack of iron is leaving you feeling tired, don’t reach for the teapot. Instead, try incorporating more iron into your diet.

TikTok Hack: The Iron fish

TikTokers also may be familiar with a hack to get more iron in your diet – the iron fish.

The iron fish is a fish made from iron that you can add to the pan while cooking vegetables, soups or curries.

While you leave the iron fish to simmer, it releases iron into the water – fortifying whatever you’re cooking with extra iron. Iron fish are available from Amazon UK.

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