Preventing ?lack of blood?

Prevenir a ?falta de sangue?

A diet rich in iron can help prevent ?lack of blood?, a condition that affects around 52% of Mozambican women between the ages of 15 and 49. Find out why.   

?lack of blood?, ?weak blood? or ?little blood? are popular expressions used to describe anemia, a condition characterized by a decrease in the amount of hemoglobin in the blood, which in turn translates into a reduction in the body's capacity to transport oxygen to its tissues.

In the initial phase, anemia is expressed as fatigue and can go unnoticed. However, as it progresses, other symptoms appear, such as a general lack of strength, paleness, headaches and dizziness, among others. This affects cognitive performance and the ability to work and socialize and can aggravate other health problems.

Anemia can be caused by a variety of factors, including intestinal diseases, bleeding and chronic illnesses. However, the most common cause is a lack of iron, a mineral found naturally in food that is essential for the production of hemoglobin.

So, under normal conditions, a balanced diet rich in iron is enough to prevent anemia. The mineral can be found in a wide variety of animal and plant foods, such as meat, fish, crustaceans, offal, eggs, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, beans, soybeans, grains, lentils, quinoa, oats, barley, cassava leaves, sesame seeds, dried moringa leaves, roasted cashews, among many others.

However, iron from animal foods is absorbed more easily than from plant foods. For this reason, even though some plant-based foods have a higher iron content than others, those who don't eat animal products should take extra care to ensure that they get enough of this mineral. For example, you should increase your intake of iron sources and foods rich in vitamin C, such as oranges, kiwi fruit, pineapples, regular or sweet potatoes, among others, since this substance enhances the absorption of iron present in some plant-based foods.

Iron supplementation may also be necessary when the diet does not allow the necessary amounts of iron to be ingested and/or absorbed, either because needs are increased (as happens, for example, during pregnancy) or because absorption is hampered (for example, in the case of intestinal or chronic diseases). However, supplementation should always be carried out in accordance with a doctor's or nutritionist's recommendation.


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