- Diet helps correct iron deficiency.
- Iron deficiency is the most common deficiency worldwide, affecting 50 to 80% of the world’s population.
Iron is a vital atom whose task is in particular to bind oxygen and transport it to the cells. An adult human body contains between 2.5 and 4 g of iron and we lose around 1 mg per day.
On average, the recommended intake for a young woman is 25 mg of iron per day, 12 mg for men and 6 to 10 mg for a child. It is all the more difficult to ensure that the iron in the food is present in low concentrations and is not 100% assimilable, but only between 1 and 40%. However, certain foods can be good allies to avoid iron deficiency and so-called “iron deficiency” anemia, defined by a lack of red blood cells in the blood.
First, meat products, since animal iron is better assimilated than plant iron, with a six times higher absorption of iron of animal origin. Animal products (beef, poultry, fish, seafood) promote the absorption of iron, but so do fresh fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C (peppers, cabbage, kiwi, orange) and vegetables rich in vitamin A (sweet potatoes). , carrots, spinach, pumpkin).
It is also advisable to make associations: in the same meal, meat products accompanied by fresh fruit or fresh vegetables rich in vitamin C. Other associations are to be avoided precisely: consumption of dairy products with legumes, hummus, meat. According to a study, the consumption of dairy products in a meal reduces the bioavailability of iron. In fact, we now know that calcium greatly reduces the absorption of iron.
iron absorption repressors
Other iron absorption suppressors are tannins from tea or coffee, phytates (inositol phosphates) from grains and legumes, polyphenols from red or blue fruits, wine and cocoa, fruit pectin, apples, quince…
“So that the body can absorb iron well, it is therefore necessary to avoid tea as a drink during meals, wine or fruit juices rich in polyphenols (grape, currant, blueberry juice) and to postpone the intake of dairy products or milk to other meals of, where meat is eaten“, says Stéphane Ingrand, deputy head of the research department “Animal Physiology and Husbandry Systems” at the National Research Institute of Agriculture, Food and Environment (INRAE) in The conversation.