I met my friend who told me that she was on Iron supplements as her haemoglobin level is low. She was also taking an antacid tablet for her acidity. She would take an antacid, have breakfast and then take Iron supplement. Was she doing right? The answer is NO because the antacid will interfere with the Iron absorption.
Iron is an important component of haemoglobin (Hb) in Red blood cells(RBC). Haemoglobin in red blood cells contains iron which carries oxygen to our body. Therefore, lack of iron in our body leads to Iron Deficiency Anemia.
Signs and Symptoms of iron deficiency anaemia:
– Extreme tiredness
– Pale skin
– Brittle nails
If haemoglobin is too low,
– Chest pain
– Tachycardia (Increased Heart Rate )
– Green leafy vegetables especially spinach, drumstick.
– Lentils such as soybeans
– Soya Beans And Milk
– Egg yolks
Tips to prevent iron deficiency anaemia:
1. Take Iron rich food:
Include iron-rich foods in your diet.
2. Use jaggery instead of sugar wherever possible: 0
Sugar is more refined and contains empty calories. Jaggery contains iron. People with low iron take can replace jaggery with sugar as this gives small amount of iron.
3. Take vitamin C rich sources:
Iron gets best absorbed in the presence of vitamin C so if u have eaten spinach also include orange or lime after some time.
4. Avoid Calcium after iron intake:
Calcium interferes with iron absorption, therefore, plan your meals accordingly. Ex: u have eaten spinach do not drink milk in few hours.
Note: Also avoid tea, coffee during meals containing iron.5. Avoid with antacids:
Antacids are drugs which reduce acidity. Also, these drugs interfere with iron absorption. Therefore see that there is a good time interval between antacid and iron intake.
6. Iron and calcium supplements :
In pregnancy, u will be given both supplements. Take supplements as prescribed by the doctor. Usually, if one is taken in the morning the other will be taken during the night for proper absorption of each supplement.
If your child looks pale and has less concentration in studies it may be due to lack of iron, which is a component of Haemoglobin which carries oxygen to blood cells. Therefore, get blood test done and treat accordingly.
NOTE 2 :
Drumstick leaves have high iron content. About 100 gm of drumstick leaves contain 4 mg of iron. My neighbour who hails from a village told me that they do not eat drumstick leaves in their village in spite of its availability. Include drumstick leaves it has various other health benefits too.