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Twinkle Khanna’s 'prescription'  for anaemia decoded

Anaemia is a condition in which a person lacks haemoglobin which is important for supplying oxygen to your red blood cells. © Shutterstock

Former Bollywood actress and renowned author Twinkle Khanna recently shared a list of foods on her Instagram account that can help you tackle anaemia by increasing the iron levels of your blood. Here, we share the health benefits of these foods.

Do you feel shortness of breath or headache particularly with exercise? Does your skin look pale and you feel extremely fatigued? Well, if your nodding is hinting a yes, you may be suffering from anaemia. Globally, around 2 billion people have anaemia, says a report by the World Health Organization.

Anaemia is a condition in which a person lacks haemoglobin which is important for supplying oxygen to your red blood cells. It is characterised by symptoms like dizziness, paleness of skin, chest pain, headache, irregular heartbeat, etc. Iron deficiency is one of the leading causes of this blood disorder. There are certain factors like menstruation, pregnancy, family history, lack of certain vitamins like vitamin B-12, age etc. that can increase your risk of developing anaemia. In severe cases, this condition can become fatal or lead to serious health problems like heart failure, enlarged heart, etc. The treatment of anaemia depends on the underlying cause. For example, if the cause of anaemia is iron deficiency, you will be given iron supplements. In case of thalassemia being the cause, folic acid supplements may be prescribed.

Former Bollywood actress-turned author Twinkle Khanna, who is known for books like Pyjamas are Forgiving, The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad and Mrs Funnybones, suffered from iron deficiency. However, she managed to up the levels of this essential nutrient by making some additions in her diet. Recently, Twinkle Khanna took to her Instagram account and revealed those additions along with the picture of a bowl of porridge. She wrote, Switched a few things around and my iron levels went shooting up! Porridge was good enough for the three bears and it's even better for me. My inbox is now full of queries about raising iron levels so am putting some stuff down here-the things that worked for me...

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  1. Oats made with water or almond milk
  2. Spelt/amaranth/quinoa
  3. Chopped nuts
  4. Pumpkin seeds

Try it for 3 months and let me know:)"

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According to experts in the field of haematology and nutrition, the average daily iron intake of a woman should be at least 15mg and that of a man should be at least 11 mg. The foods that Mrs Funnybones talked about are rich in iron and therefore can help you deal with the deficiency of this nutrient. Apart from being rich in iron, these foods offer some important health benefits too. Here is all you need to know about them.

Oats

100g=4.64 mg of iron

[caption id="attachment_665173" align="alignnone" width="675"]oats Being jam-packed in antioxidants, oats can lower your blood pressure levels. Shutterstock[/caption]

Apart from increasing your body s iron levels, oats can lower your cholesterol levels and protect your heart from damage because of the presence of a powerful soluble fibre called beta-glucan. Being jam-packed in antioxidants and plant compounds called polyphenols, oats can lower your blood pressure levels as well. Also, as oatmeal is quite filling. Therefore, it can improve satiety and help your weight loss mission.

Spelt

100g=1.6 mg of iron

[caption id="attachment_665174" align="alignnone" width="675"]Spelt Spelt contains essential minerals that are necessary for the development of bones. Shutterstock[/caption]

This ancient grain, which is similar to wheat in looks, comes with stronger husk along with a wide variety of health benefits. Spelt contains an essential vitamin called niacin that plays a significant role in the production of sex hormones. Being a soluble fibre, it can improve your cholesterol levels and reduce blood pressure. Moreover, spelt can effectively treat problems like constipation, gas, bloating, etc. and help in better digestion. Apart from these, you can eat this food in order to manage your weight and decrease the risk of diabetes. It also contains essential minerals that are necessary for the development of bones.

Amaranth

100g=2 mg of iron

[caption id="attachment_665175" align="alignnone" width="675"]amaranth Amaranth can lower your body s cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of cardiovascular diseases. Shutterstock[/caption]

Amaranth is also a type of grain that is highly nutritious. It contains protein and is rich in fibre as well. High in antioxidants, amaranth can help protect you against harmful free radicals in the body that contribute to the development of several chronic diseases. Moreover, it can play an instrumental role in inhibiting the production of immunoglobulin E, which is a type of antibody involved in allergic inflammation. Amaranth can also lower your body s cholesterol levels and therefore reduce your risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Quinoa

100g=1.4 mg of iron

[caption id="attachment_665176" align="alignnone" width="675"]benefits-of-quinoa Being high in fibre, it can increase your satiety and lose weight. Shutterstock[/caption]

It is gluten-free food that is high in protein and has all nine essential amino acids. This nutritious grain has anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-depressant effects. Being high in fibre, it can increase your satiety and lose weight. Also, because of its low glycaemic index, quinoa can effectively control your blood sugar levels efficiently. Apart from these, it can improve your metabolic health as well.

Nuts

100g=3.72 mg of iron

[caption id="attachment_665177" align="alignnone" width="675"]Nuts Nuts have strong anti-inflammatory properties with which they can protect the body from bacterial infections causing inflammation. Shutterstock[/caption]

There are various types of nuts available in the market like almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, etc. Fortunately, all of them come with potential health benefits. Being loaded with antioxidants like polyphenols, nuts can help you combat oxidative stress by neutralizing free radicals. Also, they can lower your cholesterol levels due to the presence of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Nuts have strong anti-inflammatory properties too with which they can protect the body from bacterial infections causing inflammation. Moreover, they are rich in fibre and therefore can keep you full for long. Nuts are known to keep your mind sharp and help you beat brain fog.

Pumpkin seeds

100g=8.82 mg of iron

[caption id="attachment_665178" align="alignnone" width="675"]pumpkin-seeds-a Being jam-packed with vitamin E, pumpkin seeds can strengthen your immune system. Shutterstock[/caption]

Apart from its high iron content, pumpkin seeds are a good source of magnesium and therefore, they are considered significant for bone health. Also, they can protect you against type 2 diabetes and improve heart health. Containing omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, antioxidants and fibre, these edible seeds are good for your liver too. Being jam-packed with vitamin E, pumpkin seeds can strengthen your immune system and maintain healthy blood vessels. Moreover, they are rich in an amino acid called tryptophan, which is known to treat insomnia. Your body actually converts this amino acid into serotonin and melatonin. These two hormones are responsible for good mood and sound sleep.

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