World Thalassemia Day 2022: Consume these iron-rich foods to maintain adequate haemoglobin levels

Thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder that causes your body to have less haemoglobin than normal. According to Mayo Clinic, it can cause anaemia, leaving you fatigued. To spread awareness about the condition, World Thalassaemia Day is observed on May 8, every year. This year, it is celebrated with the theme ‘Be Aware. Share. Care: Working with the global community as one to improve thalassaemia knowledge.’

According to Yash Vardhan Swami, nutritionist and health expert, iron deficiency is one of the most common deficiencies that can lead to extreme fatigue, shortness of breath, weakness and cold hands and feet. “Iron is a mineral that our body needs for growth, development and to make haemoglobin — a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to all parts of the body,” he told indianexpress.com.

“Iron is also a cofactor to neurotransmitters and is important for synthesis and metabolism of hormones,” he added.

According to the expert, iron deficiency is common in the country as most people are vegetarian. “Most of us are vegetarian and vegetarian iron sources are non-heme. Non-heme iron sources are not absorbed properly in the body. That’s why we should be having more iron in our diet especially if we are relying on vegetarian non-heme iron sources.”

To improve their absorption and bio-availability, consume vitamin C with non-heme iron sources, he suggested.

According to Swami, Non-heme iron sources include grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and leafy greens. “On the other spectrum, the bioavailability of heme iron sources is higher. These include a lot of protein sources such organ meats, poultry and certain seafood,” he said.

However, if someone is getting transfusions, there are chances of iron overload, the expert warned. “So, in these cases, iron consumption can cause damage to health.”

Thus, it is suggested to consult an expert if you are dealing with deficiency as “too much iron can also lead to toxicity which wouldn’t be optimal for health”.

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