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Pumping Iron: 4 Easy...

Pumping Iron: 4 Easy Ways to Counteract Anemia

Millions of Americans suffer from anemia, a lack of red blood cells. Learn how to infuse your diet with iron to live a healthier, well-rounded life. 

Causes of anemia can be extremely varied, but the one thing someone needing more iron in their diet asks is, "How do I go about getting this mineral naturally?"

Most people immediately think of spinach. It's high in iron, has lots of fiber, and Popeye used it to get his strength, right? Sort of. While spinach does carry a decent amount of iron, it also contains substances that block iron absorption. Some foods contain substances that block irons bio-availability, like egg whites, milk, tea, and coffee. While these foods are great on their own, if you are focusing on increasing your iron supply you wouldn't combine these foods with other iron rich foods. Try these iron-increasing solutions instead.

1. Load up on Vitamin C.
Vitamin C helps your body absorb iron more readily, so when you eat eggs, combine them with orange juice or a tomato slice to punch up your iron absorption. If your having a spinach salad, toss in some mandarin orange slices, bell peppers, or strawberries.

2. Break out your cast iron skillet.
Cooking with cast iron skillets is another great way to increase your iron. To really maximize the effects, cook high-acidic foods like tomatoes, corn, lentils, or squash. They will absorb a significant amount of iron from your skillet.

3. Mix up your tea of choice.
Herbalists suggest drinking teas made of cumin, mint, caraway, or anise to help with iron absorption. Cooking with herbs is also recommended as another natural way of building up your iron.

4. In addition to the above, start taking supplements.
Supplements are always a great option, but getting your minerals and vitamins through your food source is always preferable. Remember, foods like pastas, breads, cream of wheat, and cereals are good sources of iron also, if you don't eat meat or eggs.

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