According to World Health Organisation research, people in low-income households are more prone to be iron deficient. The condition can be an indicator of both poor nutrition and poor health explains Pretoria dietitian, Jason van Heerden.
As the name implies, iron deficiency is due to insufficient iron. According to the Mayo Clinic, iron deficiency is the most common type of anemia – a condition where blood lacks healthy red blood cells which carry oxygen to your body’s tissues.
“Sources include red meat, chicken, fish, and organ meat,” says Van Heerden.
Try these foods
Without enough of this mineral, your body can’t produce enough of a substance in red blood cells that enables them to carry oxygen or *hemoglobin. As a result, iron deficiency anemia may leave you tired and short of breath.
Initially, iron deficiency can be so mild that it can even go unnoticed. According to the Cleveland Clinic symptoms include:
- Brittle nails
- Unusual cravings for non-nutritive substances like dirt
- Poor appetite
Van Heerden advises people to add more plant-based sources of iron to their diet. In other words, you can literally eat yourself better.
Good sources include:
- Fortified cereals
- Dried fruit;
- Green leafy vegetables (like spinach and broccoli); and
Try this deficiency busting spinach
Owner of Mangale Homemade, a catering business in Johannesburg, Mangale Mofokeng shares her recipe for a budget-friendly deficiency buster – pap and spinach.
Maize meal pap not only fills our bellies but it unites Mzansi’s melting pot of cultures. The great thing is that the pap can be enjoyed alone with no relish or meat. Enjoy this spinach and pap recipe by Mofokeng.
- 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 – 2 bunches spinach, washed and cut
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1 – 2 tbsp Aromat
- Butter (the more the better)