Recent statistics show that 40% of women under the age of 34 have seriously low intakes of iron and are at risk of anaemia as a result. Up to 15% of children don’t get enough iron, and 1 in 8 children between 1 1/2 and 2 years are anaemic.
Anaemia can cause:
- tiredness and weakness
- decreased work and school performance
- slow cognitive and social development during childhood
- difficulty maintaining body temperature
- decreased immune function, which increases susceptibility to infection
- glossitis (an inflamed tongue)
- restless leg syndrome
Symptoms of iron deficiency anaemia could be caused by many different things. A blood test is needed to confirm the presence of iron deficiency anaemia.
People at risk of anaemia:
- Infants over 6 months
- Pregnant women
- Pre menopausal women
How much iron do I need?
|Gender||Age Group||Recommended intake (mg/day), number of ★|
|Teenage boys||11-18 years||11|
|Teenage girls||11-18 years||15|
Food sources of iron
- Iron from animal sources is much better absorbed by the body than plant sources
- Vitamin C helps with absorption. High vitamin C foods include: red peppers, broccoli, strawberries, kiwi fruit & oranges.
- Tea and coffee reduce the absorption of iron, so don’t drink a cup too close to a meal
|Liver||40g, thick slice||★★★|
|Liver pate||1 tbsp||★|
|Beef steak||150g, medium size||★★★|
|Beef mince||125g, 4 tbsp cooked||★★★|
|Pork chop||120g, 1 average||★|
|Tuna||100g (1/2 tin)||★|
Other sources (less well absorbed):
|Ready Brek||20g dry (1 small ptn)||★★★★★★|
|Branflakes||25g (4 tbsp)||★★★★|
|Rice Krispies||30g (4 tbsp)||★★|
|Chickpeas||100g (4 tbsp)||★★|
|Lentils green/brown||75g (1/2 cup cooked)||★★|
|Lentils red||75g (1/2 cup cooked)||★★|
|Baked beans||120g (3 tbsp)||★★|
|Humus||50g (1 tbsp)||★|
|Sunflower seeds||30g (1/4 cup)||★★|
|Sesame seeds||12g (1 tbsp)||★|
|Raisins||35g (1 tbsp)||★|
|Spinach||120g (3 tbsp) boiled||★★|
|Peas||75g (2.5 tbsp)||★|
|Broccoli||4 spears (200g)||★|
|Ovaltine||25g serving (4 tsp)||★★★|
|Milo (chocolate malt)||20g serving (4 tsp)||★★★★★★|
If you have iron deficiency anaemia, your doctor may prescribe you iron supplements, as even a diet rich in iron will not be enough to correct the deficiency.
If you experience a stomach upset with iron tablets, try taking a liquid form instead.
For further information on iron or for a dietary assessment to assess the amount of nutrients in your diet, use the contact form to get in touch.