5 Nutrient-Dense Foods to Fight Iron Deficiency Anemia

What is anaemia?

Anaemia is a very common condition that affects so many people. 

It simply means that your blood has not enough red blood cells which are actually responsible for carrying oxygen to the body cells and tissues.

There are different types of anaemia but iron deficiency anaemia is one very common, and it has extreme effects, especially on pregnant women and their unborn children.


Iron deficiency anaemia has been shown to cause so many developmental effects on the unborn child.

What causes anaemia?

  1. Heavy blood loss from situations of accidents, surgery, heavy menstruation, or intestinal bleeding from issues like inflammatory bowel disease.
  2. A very poor diet that lacks iron-rich foods like meat, beans, lentils, etc.
  3.  Impaired absorption of iron, by your body.
  4. Pregnancy.
  5. Use of certain medications can also cause anaemia ( if you suspect this, see a doctor as soon as possible).
  6. Intestinal bowel disease.
  7. Vitamin B12 deficiency.

The severity of iron deficiency anaemia requires immediate attention lest we risk the occurrence of life-threatening conditions like heart failure, or developmental issues during pregnancy.

What are the signs and symptoms of iron deficiency anaemia?

  1. Fatigue/ reduced body energy, because there’s very little oxygen getting to your cells and tissues because of the low haemoglobin levels.
  2. Very pale skin, blood is red, and that explains why your skin will appear very pale when you have anaemia. You can check your nails, face, and below your eyelids, especially in people with a darker skin tone.
  3. Frequent headaches are also a common sign of anaemia.
  4. Difficulty in breathing in some people.
  5. Heart palpitations, because basically, your heart is struggling to pump blood.
  6. Cold hands and feet.

Aside from blood transfusions, which actually have saved many lives, taking iron supplements, especially for our pregnant mothers, diet plays quite an important role in both preventing iron deficiency anaemia and also restoring back haemoglobin levels.

Here’s a list of 5 foods that are highly rich in iron that can help boost your blood levels back to normal;

Red Meat


When we mention red meat, we quickly start to think about all the saturated fats and all the negative effects they may have on our bodies.

As red meat has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks, stroke, and high blood pressure.

However, red meats are an important part of our diet as they contain vitamin B 12, iron, and other vitamins and minerals in substantial amounts to help in blood formation and circulation.

Iron helps in the production of red blood cells whose work is to transport oxygen throughout our bodies to our cells and tissues. That’s aside from generally boosting your body’s immunity.

But important also is to maintain portion control and remove any visible fat during food preparation.



Soya beans a very rich in iron which is important in the production of red blood cells that help move oxygen around to body cells and tissues.

Soya beans are also high in protein which helps boost metabolism.

Soya beans are also low in saturated fats, saturated fats are bad for the heart, as too much consumption of it leads to a build-up of plaques within the blood vessels, causing high blood pressure, stroke, and even heart attacks.



To aid in iron absorption, foods rich in vitamin C are encouraged.

Foods rich in vitamin C include spinach, other dark green leafy vegetables, guavas, lemons, oranges, kale, etc.

Eating iron-rich foods alongside these vitamin C-rich foods can definitely boost the absorption of iron, Hence preventing iron deficiency anaemia.

In addition to that, spinach also contains substantial amounts of vitamin A, and minerals like potassium, calcium, and folate.



Beans are just a delicacy. They come in different colors and sizes which makes them even more nutritious.

Beans can be eaten alongside carbohydrates, and vegetables to complete your diet and make it balanced.

Beans contain minerals like iron, magnesium, and potassium, good for general health.

Beans are rich in protein, essential to aid in the fast repair and building of body tissues and organs, like speeding up the process of wound healing.

Beans also contain fibre, and fibre helps slow down the process of digestion, giving the feeling of fullness. 

This is important for people living with diabetes, as it will help prevent sudden spikes in blood sugar levels, and also help in weight management.

Beans are also heart-healthy.



Lentils are a very precious legume.

We enjoy eating lentils alongside rice and other carbohydrate foods. 

In the management of diabetes, cancers, and constipation, lentils provide enough fibre to make it even more possible.

Lentils contain substantial amounts of potassium, folate, and iron, which boost your immunity and also boost your haemoglobin levels.

Lentils are good for the heart, as they don’t contain too much-saturated fat, this is compared to most animal-source proteins.

Moreover, lentils are easily available, affordable, and accessible.

Other foods that are equally rich in iron include;

  1. Liver
  2. Green peas
  3. Beetroots, whole fruit, or juice
  4. Fortified cereals
  5. Dark green leafy vegetables 

Leave a Reply

Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: