How can one prevent Iron Deficiency?

By  , Expert Content
Jan 18, 2013

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How can one prevent Iron Deficiency

Iron deficiency anaemia is mostly caused due to deficiency of iron in your diet and can be corrected or prevented by taking a healthy diet and supplements. Read to know more on how to prevent anaemia.


Choose a healthy diet


Most cases of iron deficiency anaemia and other vitamin deficiency anaemia can be prevented by eating a diet that includes food rich in iron, vitamins and other nutrients.


  • Foods rich in iron: Red meat, especially beef and liver are good sources of iron. Other animal products such as chicken, turkey, pork, fish, and shellfish also are good sources of iron. Beans, lentils, iron-fortified cereals, dark green leafy vegetables and dried fruit are also rich in iron. You can reduce your risk of iron deficiency anaemia by choosing iron-rich foods. Iron from animal food products is better absorbed than from non-meat foods.
  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C improves the absorption of iron in your body. So include foods rich in vitamin C such as citrus fruits (such as oranges, grapefruits and tangerines), goose berry, kiwi fruit, strawberries, broccoli, peppers, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, cabbage, potatoes, and leafy green vegetables.


Infants and Young Children


Infants and young children are at increased risk of developing iron deficiency anaemia as their diet can be deficient in iron. For example, the iron content of cow’s milk is low; hence cow's milk should not be given to babies in their first year. To prevent iron deficiency anaemia, breast milk or an iron-fortified formula is recommended for the first year. Young children grow rapidly and if their nutritional intake is poor they are at risk of developing anaemia. Consult your doctor to know foods rich in iron which can be given to your baby. If needed your doctor may prescribe iron supplements.




Pre-menopausal women (i.e. in childbearing age) may develop iron-deficiency anaemia, especially if they have:


  • Poor nutritional intake.
  • History of menorrhagia (heavy blood loss during periods).
  • History of iron-deficiency anaemia.


Consult your doctor to know foods rich in iron and if needed your doctor may prescribe iron supplements. During pregnancy, women need iron supplements to prevent iron deficiency.


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