How Anemia Causes Weight Gain/Loss
Our bodies are complex. Every second some biochemical process or the other keeps taking place inside. For it to function properly our body needs little quantities of several minerals. One such important mineral is iron.
Why the body needs iron?
The body needs iron to make hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a protein found in red blood cells that carries oxygen. Insufficient iron in the diet can lead to anemia. The body lacks sufficient red blood cells when one suffers from anemia.
Symptoms of deficiency of iron
- Loss of appetite resulting in sudden weight loss
- A feeling of fatigue.
- Craving for weird stuff like dirt, clay, ice, chalk or sand. This craving is called pica. Women usually crave for ice J
- Development of sores around the mouth.
- Difficulty in swallowing
How Anemia Causes Weight Gain/Loss?
A lack of iron in your body can result in sudden weight loss. This is chiefly due to a decrease in appetite. On the other hand it can also make it harder to lose weight. It is simple logic. When suffering from iron deficiency, your body is unable to make sufficient red blood cells, so you have less energy. Due to this lack of energy or fatigue you can’t exercise and stay active physically. As result of not exercising you will burn lesser calories and this can hamper your weight loss. So, if you want to lose weight you should make sure that you don’t have iron deficiency. Including iron rich food in your diet will solve the problem.
Foods rich in iron
This one is simple. I remember, right through my childhood I was asked to eat greens. Even now I am asked to do so 😛 It was always said in text books too that ‘green leafy vegetable are a good source of iron’. Of course there are also other sources of iron and they are mentioned below.
- Egg yolks
- Dark, leafy greens (spinach primarily, remember Popeye the sailor man getting energized after munching a can of greens??)
- Dried fruit (prunes, raisins)
- Turkey and chicken
- Beans, chick peas, soybeans, lentils
- Red meat
- Fish like tuna and sardines
- Corn meal, oats cereal and wheat
Also if you eat foods rich in vitamin C, the body will absorb the iron better.
There are two types of iron: heme and non-heme. Heme is found in animal sources whereas non-heme is found in plants.
Iron from animal sources(heme iron) is absorbed by the body more easily than the iron from plant sources(non heme). Talking of stats, a person absorbs up to 30 percent of heme iron, and only 2-10 percent of non-heme iron, found in plant foods. So the vegetarians out their (including me :P) should eat lots more of the plant sources rich in iron.
Excess of iron
In your gusto to be free of iron deficiency, don’t gulp down iron supplements unnecessarily. Excess of iron can damage the organs of the body. If your doctor feels that you have a deficiency he/she will prescribe you iron supplements.
Now do you know about the link between Iron Deficiency(Anemia) And Weight Loss?
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