Iron deficiency symptoms: What to eat to beat symptoms of tiredness and headaches

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Nutritionist Rosie Millen spoke to Express.co.uk about vitamins and minerals and how to get enough of those you need. She discussed iron with Express.co.uk.

Rosie was asked which are the most dangerous and prevalent vitamin deficiencies.

Rosie said: “The most prevalent deficiency that is most notable is an iron deficiency which leads to anaemia.”

She said there is one major diet and lifestyle change causing the deficiency. “Many people who change their diet and cut out red meat tend to experience this,” she said.

The amount recommended needed daily is 8.7mg a day for men and 14.8mg a day for women.

How to get enough iron

Rosie said: “You can increase your iron-rich foods such as spinach, eggs, beans and nuts.”

Of course, it is also possible to supplement with iron tablets if you are worried and a deficiency.

Those diagnosed with aneamia will be given medication by their doctor.

What does iron do?

Iron helps with the formation of blood. It helps to make red blood cells, essential for carrying oxygen around the body.

An iron deficiency is called anaemia, and can be caused by pregnancy.

Symptoms include tiredness, shortness of breath, pale skin, and heart palpitations.

Treatment includes prescribed iron tablets.

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Which foods are rich in iron?

  • Liver
  • Red meat
  • Beans
  • Dried fruit
  • Nuts
  • Spinach
  • Veal
  • Lentils
  • Oysters
  • Mussels
  • Sardines

Rosie adds that getting another vitamin will help with iron absorption.

She advised: “Consume vitamin C foods alongside (iron) as it helps the absorption of iron.”

What foods are high in vitamin C?

  • Citrus fruit
  • Strawberries
  • Broccoli
  • Guavas
  • Chilli

Vitamin D deficiency is also a worry, especially during the winter months. 

Dr Rupy advised on the best foods to eat to get enough vitamin D in the diet.

Eat “things like eggs, oily fish, mackerel, sardines” he suggested.

“You can get it in offal as well. You can also get it in vitamin D enriched mushrooms.

“But it’s difficult to get in meaningful amounts, so you do need to supplement.”

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