Are you tired all the time? Easily short of breath? Dizzy? Cold, even when others are not? Dealing with hair loss? Restless leg syndrome? If you said yes to all of those symptoms then you might be experiencing an iron deficiency.

Iron deficiency anemia is surprisingly not uncommon. It is actually one of the most common deficiencies in women in the world. A lack of iron can lead to a series of side effects and if untreated, to more serious health complications. Iron is important for producing haemoglobin, a protein that helps red blood cells deliver oxygen throughout your body. Without it, everything suffers, and it could lead to anaemia.

So what can you do about it?

Making changes to your diet is important. For starters taking Ferrous Sulfate which is a medication used to treat and prevent iron deficiency anemia can help. Obviously, make sure you talk with your doctor first. In addtion, here is a list of foods you can eat to help combat your iron deficiency.

Egg Yolks: An egg is full of many nutrients, including iron. Eggs are best consumed in their entirety as the yolk contains both forms of iron, haem and non-haem. Yet another reason why a boiled egg in the morning is a great start to the day.

Legumes: From soybeans to lentils and black beans, legumes are a valuable vegetarian-friendly source of iron. Combine vitamin C-rich vegetables, such as capsicum, with a whole grain and a legume to make a complete meal.

Prunes: These nutrient-rich fruits are a great source of iron, while also containing good levels of vitamin C. Prunes make an excellent choice when treating low iron levels. Enjoy with breakfast or during the day as a sweet treat.

Silverbeet: A vegetarian’s friend when it comes to iron supplies. To ensure maximum iron absorption, either boil or saute and add a squeeze of lemon for vitamin C. To increase the iron levels of the meal, combine with wholegrains and enjoy.

Oysters & Mussels: These are both great sources of iron, with mussels also providing valuable amounts of B12 and selenium, and oysters providing good levels of zinc as well. Swap your poultry dish for a delicious seafood alternative.

Lean red meat, especially beef: Probably the most common source of iron, red meat provides haem iron that is easily absorbed by the body. It is important to choose good-quality meat and only eat a portion the size of your palm.