“Women are the real architect of the Society.”

They build not only themselves but a whole community. Yet history has failed the women many times to represent what a woman can be. There cannot be just a day to celebrate a woman. Every day should be a day where we respect the divinity of women.

Healthy women are the cornerstone of healthy societies. If a woman is healthy, she will have healthy children and make sure her family eats and stays healthy, resulting in a healthier future. Therefore it is of utmost importance that our women eat healthy diets and have proper nutrition.

Nearly 53 per cent of women in India suffer from Anaemia, as per the National Family Health Survey 4 (2015-2016), which is most commonly caused due to a lack of nutrients like iron and vitamin B12. The root cause of Anaemia is the lack of vital nutrients, especially iron, in women’s bodies. For women, having an iron-rich diet is a must. If you are a vegetarian, go for beans, lentils, chickpeas, peas, soybeans. Lentils should be the go-to food if you are looking for an iron-rich vegetarian diet. Daal can be added in the diet in the form of a daal-cheela, daal-idli and daal-rice. Dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, broccoli, silverbeet, kale and mustard greens are a brilliant source of iron.

Prevention of Anemia

You can reduce your risk of iron deficiency anaemia by choosing iron-rich foods.

Choose iron-rich foods

Foods rich in iron include:

✅ Red meat, pork and poultry

✅ Seafood

✅ Beans

✅ Dark green leafy vegetables, such as spinach

✅ Dried fruit, such as raisins and apricots

✅ Iron-fortified cereals, breads and pastas

✅ Peas

Your body absorbs more iron from meat than it does from other sources. If you choose not to eat meat, you may need to increase your intake of iron-rich, plant-based foods to absorb the same amount of iron as does someone who eats meat.

✅ Choose foods containing vitamin C to enhance iron absorption

You can enhance your body’s absorption of iron by drinking citrus juice or eating other foods rich in vitamin C while you eat high-iron foods. Vitamin C in citrus juices, like orange juice, helps your body to absorb dietary iron better.

Vitamin C is also found in:

➡️ broccoli

➡️ Grapefruit

➡️ Kiwi

➡️ Leafy greens

➡️ Melons

➡️ Oranges

➡️ Peppers

➡️ Strawberries

➡️ Tangerines

➡️ Tomatoes

Why is iron deficiency Anaemia more common in women?

  1. Pregnancy,
  2. significant menstrual bleeding, 
  3. endometriosis, and 
  4. uterine fibroids are all reasons that women are more likely to experience iron-deficiency Anaemia.

Heavy menstrual bleeding occurs when a woman bleeds more or longer than typical during menstruation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), typical menstrual bleeding lasts for 4 to 5 days and the amount of blood lost ranges from 2 to 3 tablespoons. Women with excess menstrual bleeding typically bleed for more than seven days and lose twice as much blood as normal.

A pelvic ultrasound can help a doctor look for the source of excess bleeding during a woman’s period, such as fibroids. Like iron deficiency Anaemia, uterine fibroids often don’t cause symptoms. They occur when muscular tumours grow in the uterus.

While they’re not usually cancerous, fibroids can cause heavy menstrual bleeding that can lead to iron-deficiency Anaemia.

Health complications of iron-deficiency anaemia:

Most cases of iron deficiency anaemia are mild and don’t cause complications. The condition can usually be corrected quickly. However, if Anaemia or iron deficiency is left untreated, it can lead to other health problems. These include:

✅ Rapid or irregular heartbeat

When you’re anaemic, your heart has to pump more blood to make up for the low amount of oxygen. This can lead to an irregular heartbeat. In severe cases, it can lead to heart failure or an enlarged heart.

✅ Pregnancy complications

In severe cases of iron deficiency, a child may be born prematurely or with low birth weight. Most pregnant women take iron supplements as part of their prenatal care to prevent this from happening.

✅ Delayed growth in infants and children

Infants and children who are severely deficient in iron may experience delayed growth and development. They may also be more prone to infections.

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Dr. Sanjay Lunia

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