Iron is an essential mineral for the body and the main component of haemoglobin. Haemoglobin, which exists in red blood cells, is responsible for the transport of oxygen to various parts of the body. Without an adequate dietary intake of iron, the body cannot produce sufficient haemoglobin. This may lead to iron deficiency anaemia, the symptoms of which include a pale complexion, easy fatigue and difficulty in concentration.
To prevent iron deficiency anaemia, it is important to have an adequate dietary intake of iron. Some iron-rich foods include meat (e.g. beef and pork), seafood (e.g. shrimps, oysters and clams), dried beans and soybean products (e.g. red kidney beans, chickpeas, soybeans and tofu sheets), seeds and nuts (e.g. pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, walnuts and cashews), as well as breakfast cereals fortified with iron. You can maintain an adequate intake of iron-rich foods by following the recommendations of the “Healthy Eating Food Pyramid”.
Vitamin C helps the body to absorb iron from plant-based foods. When cooking, you can choose ingredients that are good sources of vitamin C, such as oranges, kiwi fruits, strawberries, broccoli and bell peppers.