Iron-deficiency anemia occurs when there is not enough iron in the body. A person can use ingredients containing high amounts of iron and vitamin C to make smoothies that can increase the body’s iron intake.
Red blood cells contain an iron-rich protein called hemoglobin. It helps transport oxygen around the body. Low iron levels can cause a condition called anemia, which is when a person does not have enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen to the body’s tissues.
In this article, we discuss ways in which a person can increase their intake of iron through what they drink. We also look at how much iron a person should consume per day.
Nonheme iron comes from plants and iron-fortified foods. Heme iron comes from animal food sources. The body does not absorb nonheme iron as easily as heme iron.
A person can make smoothies using the following ingredients, which are high in vitamin C:
Approximately 180 grams (g) of orange segments contains
The same amount of grapefruit contains
A person can try the following smoothie recipes, all of which use a citrus fruit:
- immunity boosting orange smoothie
- grapefruit smoothie
- grapefruit green smoothie
- strawberry grapefruit smoothie
Approximately 180 g of kiwi contains
Some smoothie recipes that have kiwi in them include:
This fruit contains vitamin C, potassium, and folic acid.
Examples of smoothie recipes a person may wish to try include:
In 165 g of raw guava, there is
Some smoothie recipes that use guava include:
People with iron-deficiency anemia should also try to increase their intake of iron-rich foods.
They can make smoothies using the following ingredients:
Approximately 85 g, or 3 cups, of spinach contains
A person can try the following recipes containing spinach:
A person can add kale to their smoothies to increase their intake of iron. They may wish to combine their green vegetables with fruits to sweeten the smoothie.
A person can try the following recipes containing kale:
Asparagus is a spring vegetable that contains vitamins A and C and fiber.
Approximately 85 g of asparagus contains
A person can try the following recipes containing asparagus:
- five-ingredient asparagus strawberry smoothie
- asparagus avocado smoothie
- spring green smoothie
- green smoothie with spinach, asparagus, and fruit
Tofu is a curd that manufacturers make by coagulating soy milk. It comes in a range of firmnesses, from silken to extra firm.
A person can use tofu in their smoothies to increase the iron content of the drink. Firm tofu appears to contain higher amounts of iron. However, some people may prefer to use silken tofu for a smoother texture.
Firm tofu contains
Approximately 85 g of silken tofu contains
A person can try the following recipes containing silken tofu:
Half a cup of prunes contains 1.9 mg of iron.
A person can try the following recipes that contain prunes:
Mulberries grow on trees. They can be sweet or sour.
Approximately 100 g of mulberries contains
Some smoothie recipes that use mulberries include:
Dried apricots are a source of vitamin A and potassium. A person can easily blend them to increase iron content of smoothies.
Approximately 40 g, or five dried apricots, contains
A person can try the following recipes containing dried apricots:
A person can add fruit and vegetable juices to smoothies or consume them on their own for an added source of iron and vitamin C.
|Juice||Iron content (mg)||Vitamin C content (mg)|
The following recipes contain fruit juices:
Additional ingredients for smoothies
A person can also add the following to their smoothies to boost the iron content:
According to the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS), certain foods and drinks can reduce the absorption of iron in the gut.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence note that the recommended intake of iron for a person with anemia is 100–200 mg per day.
It is important to note that this amount is higher than the amount a person could find in a typical daily multivitamin or consume through their diet.
To treat anemia, a healthcare professional will prescribe medicinal or elemental iron.
However, a person can still increase their iron intake via the food and drinks they consume.
There are different types of anemia, and each requires different treatment methods. A person should speak with a healthcare professional to receive a correct diagnosis to ensure that they are getting the appropriate treatment.
Following a diet that is high in iron can help with anemia.
Foods that are rich in iron include:
- meats, such as lamb, beef, liver, and other organ meats
- poultry, such as chicken and duck
- fish, including shellfish and sardines
- leafy greens
- legumes, including lima beans and canned baked beans
- iron-enriched cereals, bread, and pasta
Symptoms of anemia
While people with mild anemia may not have any symptoms, people with more severe anemia may experience the following:
- shortness of breath
- pale skin
- brittle nails
- cold feet and hands
- chest pain
If a person experiences symptoms of anemia, they should seek guidance from a healthcare professional. Doctors use a blood test to diagnose anemia.
If a person does not have any symptoms despite low iron levels, they can contact a doctor to find out whether their iron deficiency is due to any underlying conditions.
Anemia can cause symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, dizziness, and headaches.
A person can increase the iron levels in their blood by drinking smoothies and juices containing ingredients that are naturally high in iron and vitamin C. Fruits, vegetables, and seeds are all good sources of iron.