Watermelon: tastes good and helps with iron absorption

People in the United States have been eating less red meat and experiencing more iron deficiency anemia. That’s the conclusion of a new study published in the Journal of Nutrition.

The researchers also said that there’s a decrease in naturally present iron levels in beef and other animal proteins, as well as the plant-based foods they consume. The decrease in iron levels in foods were detected in more than 62 percent of foods tested in 1999 and again in 2015. The researchers said it’s this decrease in iron levels in the foods we’re eating that’s playing the largest role in the increase in iron deficiency anemia.

So, while beef consumption is down, it’s not the primary cause of higher rates of dietary anemia.

“Everyone’s body processes and uses iron at different efficiency levels,” said Caroline West Passerrello, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “The amount of iron used by our bodies for growth and development is based on a variety of factors, including the source of the iron and what else is eaten at the same time,” she said.

There are two sources of iron: iron from animal sources or iron from plant sources. Regardless of the source, you still need to eat a balanced diet to ensure that iron is absorbed and that your body can use it properly.

Lon Ben-Asher, a registered dietician at Pritikin Longevity Center in Florida, echoes the importance of consuming foods rich in vitamin C since it helps to enhance iron absorption. She recommends focusing on eating these foods for increased bioavailability and utilization of iron in our bodies: potatoes, watermelon, tropical fruits such as oranges and kiwi, broccoli, and colorful bell peppers.

Source: Healthline