Thanks for writing. Sorry for the delay in replying. Strangely I just saw your post.
Yes, there are many food items rich in iron, both raw and enriched and fortified food. However diagnosing anemia itself is not the end of the story. One has to find the cause too and treat that too. Only taking food rich in iron and OTC iron pills will only treat anemia due to diet poor in iron.
“Taking iron supplements without medical guidance may not be wise, since supplements contain more than the recommended daily allowance (RDA). Too high an iron level can lead to zinc and copper deficiency and can cause iron overload. (Excess iron is not easily eliminated from the body and can cause iron overload.)
Some people have a rare, genetic disease, hemochromatosis, in which they absorb too much iron. If a person prone to hemochromatosis takes iron supplements, he or she can build up harmful iron stores. This can be just as harmful as too little iron. Since men do not lose as much iron as women, hemochromatosis is more prevelent in men. In the U.S., one in 500 men have anemia, while one in 250 men are prone to hemochromatosis.”
“Red meat is the richest source of iron. If you eat little or no red meat, make a special effort to include other sources of iron in your diet. Iron is found in fortified cereals, nuts, seeds, dried beans, dried fruit (apricots, peaches, raisins, and prunes) and dark green leafy vegetables. Cooking with iron pots and pans also increases the amount of iron consumed.
Certain factors influence the amount of iron absorbed from food. The iron in meat, fish and poultry is absorbed better than plant sources. Vitamin C can enhance the amount of iron absorbed in a meatless meal. Including vitamin C rich foods, such as fruits and leafy green vegetables in your meals, is a good way to promote iron absorption. Certain compounds in foods may slightly decrease iron absorptions, such as oxalic acid in spinach, phosphates in milk and egg whites, phytates in beans and other vegetables, and possibly the tannins in tea. Calcium supplements also may decrease iron absorption, so avoid taking them with iron-rich foods (e.g. take your calcium supplement at bedtime instead of at breakfast). To get enough iron, eat a wide variety of foods rich in iron, such as those listed in the following table. Consider starting your day with iron-fortified cereal and a glass of orange juice (for Vitamin C). Continue good nutritional habits by eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and iron-fortified breads throughout the day.”
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