It’s important for anyone with a chronic illness to eat a balanced diet, but children and adults with hemophilia should also include iron-rich foods as some of the body’s store of iron is lost during bleeding.
There are two different types of iron that your body can get from food: heme and nonheme. Heme is found in animal products and nonheme is found in plant products. Our bodies tend to get more iron from heme foods, but if you’re a vegetarian, you can still eat plenty of iron-rich foods. Nonheme iron is the type added to foods like breakfast cereals.
Heme Iron Foods
- Oysters, clams and mussels
- Red meats such as beef and lamb
- Canned sardines
- Chicken and turkey
- Pork and ham
Nonheme Iron Foods
- Iron-fortified breakfast cereals, rice, breads and pastas
- Cooked beans and lentils
- Pumpkins, squash or sesame seeds
- Chickpeas, kidney beans and lima beans
- Dried apricots
- Baked potatoes
- Broccoli stems
- Raw and cooked spinach and kale
To help extract the most amount of iron out of a food, it’s advisable to eat it along with something high in vitamin C such as:
- Leafy greens
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