Did you know that iron-deficiency anemia can lead to heart disease? The blood carries oxygen to your organs through red blood cells. If those cells are smaller or in lower quantities, your heart has to work harder in order to get oxygen to your vital organs. In fact, some statistics show that up to 43% of those who are hospitalized because of a heart attack are also anemic.
Many people think that if they just eat enough red meat, they will get plenty of iron, and not have to worry about heart disease; but wait, a diet that is heavy in red meat may not be so good for your heart either. So, what do you do? Is is possible to get enough iron and still keep your heart healthy? Here are some heart-healthy foods that can help you to boost your iron intake.
Fatty fish like salmon and sardines are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. They strengthen your heart, and help to regulate your cholesterol. They are also rich in iron, making them a great way to promote heart health as well as iron intake.
Soy and tofu are another great source of iron. They are also a great source of lean protein. They can help you to have the energy to exercise and get in shape, which can also be beneficial to your heart.
Potatoes are a nutrient dense food that are often discouraged on diets because of their simple carbohydrates (the ones that break down into sugar more quickly). However, potatoes are also rich in iron and potassium, and have been shown to lower your blood pressure.
Nuts, Beans, and Legumes
Nuts, such as almonds and pecans, as well as beans, peanuts, and other legumes are full of dietary fiber, which is great for your digestion, but they are also great sources of iron and protein, making them another heart-healthy option for increasing your iron intake.
Dark green vegetables, such as spinach and kale, are full of antioxidants, making them great for your heart. They are also high in iron, and can help you to fight anemia.
Fruits such as oranges are high in flavonoids, which are heart-healthy compounds that are also high in antioxidants. They also contain vitamin C which can lower your risk of heart disease as well as improve your body's ability to absorb iron.
Choosing a well-balanced diet that is full of these heart-healthy, iron-rich foods is a great way to protect your heart and fight anemia as well. Talk to a professional like Martin Medical Center for more information.