- The diet helps to remedy an iron deficiency.
- Iron deficiency is the most common in the world with 50 to 80% of the world’s population affected.
Iron is an essential atom in life whose role is especially in fixing oxygen and transporting it to cells. An adult human body contains between 2.5 and 4 g of iron and loses about 1 mg per day.
Recommended intakes for a young woman are 25 mg of iron per day on average, 12 mg for men and 6 to 10 mg for children. This is all the more difficult to achieve because the iron is in a low concentration in the diet and is not assimilated to 100% but rather only between 1 and 40%. However, certain foods can be good allies to prevent iron deficiency and so-called “iron deficiency” anemia, which is defined by a deficiency of red blood cells in the blood.
In the first place, meat products, since animal iron is more assimilable than vegetable iron with a six times higher absorption of iron of animal origin. Animal products (beef, poultry, fish, seafood) promote the absorption of iron but this is also the case for fresh fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C (peppers, cabbage, kiwi, orange) etc. Vitamin A-rich vegetables (sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, pumpkin).
It is also wise to make associations: in the same meal, meat products accompanied by fresh fruit or a fresh vegetable rich in vitamin C. Other associations are precisely to be avoided: eating dairy products with legumes, hummus , meats. According to a study, the consumption of dairy products in a meal reduces the bioavailability of iron. Indeed, it is now known that calcium greatly reduces the absorption of iron.
Iron absorption repressors
Other iron-suppressing suppressants include tea or coffee tannins, phytates (inositol phosphates) from cereals and legumes, polyphenols from red or black fruit, wine and cocoa, fruit pectin, apples, quinces …
„In order for the body to assimilate iron well, it is therefore necessary to avoid tea as a drink during meals, wine or fruit juices rich in polyphenols (grape juice, blackcurrant juice, blueberry juice) and to defer the dairy or milk intake on meals other than meat”Says Stéphane Ingrand, Deputy Chef of the Research Department of Animal Physiology and Livestock Systems at the National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and the Environment (INRAE) in Conversation.