Call yourself a superwoman, but finding it harder day by day to keep up your energy levels? Having to juggle between various roles - wife, mother, working professional - living a healthy life often takes a backseat for women nowadays. So, if you are feeling tired and drained of energy all the time, don't just blame it on stress and pay a little more attention to what you have been eating or drinking. Check your haemoglobin level and you may actually be in for a surprise.
When we eat, not always do we pay attention to the various nutrients that are essential for our body. Whether we are talking about proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins or minerals, specific amounts of each are crucial for our daily growth and development. Iron, which is a mineral, particularly plays an important role. It is responsible for producing haemoglobin in our red blood cells that supply oxygen from organ to organ, thus providing energy. Without enough iron, our body cannot produce enough haemoglobin, and as a result, one might feel lethargic to carry out various daily tasks.
The National Institute of Nutrition, ICMR, Hyderabad recommends a daily dietary intake of 21mg iron per day for adult women. These needs are higher in adolescent girls as well as in pregnant women. Since loss of iron occurs through menstrual bleeding in women of reproductive age, iron needs are higher in women than in men.
How Does Iron Deficiency Affect the Body?
Iron deficiency can lead to various changes in our body and affect day-to-day activities. Here are 10 signs you should look out for:
1. Make You Anaemic
One of the common outcomes of iron deficiency is a condition known as anaemia, which mostly affects women. According to reports by World Health Organization (WHO) and other research bodies, 48% women in the age group 15-49 years in India were found to have haemoglobin concentrations lower than 120g/L (12g/dL).
2. Bring in Fatigue
Your low level of energy has a great deal to do with low iron content in your body. No matter how well rested, do you still feel lethargic? That's a sign of iron deficiency.
3. Shortness of Breath
This occurs because there is less amount of oxygen being circulated within your body. As you go about your day, more oxygen gets utilised, and if there is no proper oxygen circulation within the blood, it could lead to shortness of breath.
Headaches have become as frequent as common cold or sneezing in today's time. Perhaps there's a more crucial reason behind the pain, and you need to start paying attention to your iron intake.
5. Heart Palpitations
Feel your heart palpitating more than normal? It may not necessarily have to do with a heart ailment but whether you meet your iron requirement or not.
6. Pale Complexion
This is one of the common symptoms in people who suffer from iron-deficiency.
7. Numbness of Hands and Feet
Have you experienced this before? Numbness of hands and feet is a common problem faced by many, and no, don't blame the climate for it.
8. Low Body Temperature
Our body's normal temperature ranges around 37 degree Celsius. Having a temperature lower than this regularly implies that there are certain factors that are affecting the body, putting you at risk of various ailments.
9. Brittle Nails
Healthy nails are a sign of good health, and iron contributes significantly to its growth and development.
Have you been feeling dizzy of lately? Your energy levels are hitting an all-time low and this maybe because you haven't been meeting your daily requirement of iron.
How to Improve Your Daily Iron Requirement
Best thing to do? Follow a balanced diet. In case of iron-deficiency too, one can correct the iron content by changing their diet.
4 Best Vegetarian Sources of Iron for Your Diet -
1. Green Leafy Vegetables
You can get your daily dose of iron by eating greens like spinach, coloccasia leaves, kale, mustard greens, etc.
2. Seasonal Fruits
Iron rich fruits include tomatoes, apricots, raisins, prunes, dates and watermelon. If you don't have the time to grab fruits, you could try Tropicana Essentials Iron juice that contains 3.2mg of iron, which is more than 100gram spinach or mustard greens.
Include red kidney beans, lobia, chickpeas, soybeans and other pulses in your daily diet.
Include nuts like almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts and pine nuts in your regular diet as snacks or in salads and stir-fries.
As the popular saying goes - prevention is better than cure, start paying attention to your diet and ensure that you are meeting your daily requirement of iron to keep energy levels high and the heart healthy.
Now, you can say goodbye to fatigue and tiredness for good. Say Hello to your daily dose of iron that comes in a safe-to-drink tetrapak and without any added sugar or colour! The Tropicana Essentials Iron juice is exactly what you need for an appropriate absorption of iron in your body. You could opt to have it along with your breakfast in the morning or reach out for it as an evening snack. More details here.