The humble banana could become the newest weapon in the global war against iron deficiency, and subsequently, maternal deaths. Women often fall victim to tiredness and fatigue and though many pass these symptoms off as the consequence of leading busy lives, a simple blood test could reveal a very different source for why they’re feeling low. Iron deficiency is the most common dietary deficiency in the world, mostly affecting women and children, and especially pregnant women. In the developing world, iron deficiency has had more serious implications, and is a leading cause of maternal death in nutrition deficient populations. In India alone, one maternal death is reported every 10 minutes according to the United Nations, with a recorded 57,000 maternal deaths in the south-asian nation in 2010.
IMPORTANCE OF IRON Iron plays a crucial role in our body. It is integral in transporting oxygen to vital organs in the body, transmitted through haemoglobin in our red-blood cells. When we are low on iron, this inhibits our body’s ability to circulate oxygen, blocking enzymes responsible for energy metabolism and neurotransmitters for the brain. This results in a lack of concentration and focus, as well as paleness, shortness of breath, and fatigue. However, the symptoms and effects to our health may not become apparent until our iron stores are severely depleted. Safeguarding our bodies from iron deficiency can be done naturally by promoting our body’s natural absorption of the vital nutrient. Top tips to boosting your iron levels: Eat a variety of iron rich foods, such as lean meats, wholegrain cereals, beans, and lentils to promote natural iron absorption. Eat foods with a high content of vitamin C, as this helps the body to absorb iron. Fruits and vegetables contain vitamin C, but citrus fruits, berries, kiwi, tomatoes and capsicum are especially rich choices. Take a good daily multivitamin that will further assist in the absorption of iron from foods. (Always see your doctor or healthcare professional before deciding to take these supplements, as excessive consumption of iron can be toxic for the body and harm your immune system.)
RESEARCHED BY : KÁTIA C. ROWLANDS – Pilates Instructor & Personal Trainer – 082 513 4256 •