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Iron out your anaemia worries

Spinach, beetroot, dates, apples, bananas and jaggery are commonly recommended for anaemic patients. Nikshubha Garg talks to nutritionists to find out six super foods that will increase your haemoglobin and iron levels, add a spring to your step and get you fighting fit against illnesses 

Anaemia, a condition where the red blood cells (RBCs) or haemoglobin levels decrease in the human body, is on the rise in India, thanks to working professionals’ odd hours, irregular eating habits and a frenetic pace of life. According to survey conducted by The World Health Organisation (WHO) two billion people — over 30 per cent of the world’s population — are anaemic.

Eat dry fruits such as figs, peanuts, black raisins every two hours to not feel tired
Eat dry fruits such as figs, peanuts, black raisins every two hours to not feel tired 

Eat your way to good health
Dr Avinash Vaidya, a general physician, says, “Anaemia is of two types — iron deficiency anaemia and pernicious anaemia. While the former is caused by lack of iron in the diet, the latter is due to the deficiency of Vitamin B12 in the human body. The most common symptoms are dizziness, fatigue, increase in heart rate and pale skin.”

 Eat dry fruits such as figs, peanuts, black raisins every two hours to not feel tired
Eat dry fruits such as figs, peanuts, black raisins every two hours to not feel tired

Some of the commonly known food items which helps people suffering with anaemia include, beetroot, dates, spinach, pomegranate among others.

Here are some lesser-known but equally productive super foods that can work wonders for you.

Eating Vitamin C rich food accelerates the absorption of iron in the body
Eating Vitamin C rich food accelerates the absorption of iron in the body 

Raisin’ your blood levels
Food technologist and nutritionist Swati Singh says black raisins are a higher source of iron than dates. She suggests, “Wash and soak 10-12 black raisins overnight and have it early morning every day to increase your haemoglobin level. It helps to detoxify your body and also increases your immunity level.”

Fruits boost energy levels and regularise vitamin and mineral levels in the body
Fruits boost energy levels and regularise vitamin and mineral levels in the body

Go green with veggies
Singh recommends that rather than having just spinach, you must include other seasonal leafy vegetables such as scallions or spring onions, raddish leaves and colocasia to increase the iron levels in your body.

Something fishy
Lamb, chicken and fish liver are an excellent source of iron and Vitamin B-Complex and are ideal to boost your iron levels, suggests Singh.

Viva vitamins
Nutritionist Naini Setalvad says that in order to ensure that iron is well absorbed in your body, you should increase your intake of Vitamin C. “Tomatoes, lemons, oranges and watermelons are high in vitamin C and are good for you,” she adds.

Singh adds that vegetable juice is also rich in vitamins. “Mix the pulp of beetroot, tomato and carrot in equal proportion with cumin powder, black pepper and salt and have this concoction after very three days. This will increase your haemoglobin levels. You can also experiment with beetroot and spinach soup,” suggests Singh.

Iron out your worries
Earlier, people would often cook their meals in iron vessels. Over a period of time, they were replaced with steel utensils and nonstick cookware. But anaemic patients are recommended to cook their meals in iron vessels. “You can also prepare the tadka or seasoning in an iron ladle, keep it for some time and then add it to your vegetables. Since the seasoning is heated in an iron-based utensil, the nutrients are easily absorbed in the blood,” recommends Singh.

The twain shall never meet
Setalvad warns that iron-rich food substances should never be combined with dairy products as the effect of iron elements is reduced by 50 per cent. “Rather than having the usual palak paneer, opt for palak mushroom or palak chana,” she adds.

Snack attack
Snack on figs, rajgira, jaggery and sesame ladoos, peanut chikki and almonds every two hours. These products are not only an instant source of iron but also boost your energy levels.

Is the fruit healthy enough? Scan to find out

A hand-held scanner — about the size of a flash drive — can determine the molecular makeup of objects like food and medication.

A hand-held scanner — about the size of a flash drive — can determine the molecular makeup of objects like food and medication.

Is the fruit healthy enough? Scan to find out

Developed by Consumer Physics, a Tel Aviv-based start up in Israel, the scanner called ‘Scio’ emits a beam of light, which you can shine on, say, a piece of fruit.

“The device will then connect to a smart phone app that reveals the nutritional breakdown of that piece of fruit,” Dror Sharon, co-founder of Consumer Physics, said.

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