Iron and Iron Deficiency

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Quick GuideThe 14 Most Common Causes of Fatigue

The 14 Most Common Causes of Fatigue

Young children (aged 1–5 years)

  • After your child is one year old, give no more than three 8 ounce servings of whole cow, goat, or soy milk per day. After your child is 2 years old, low fat or nonfat milks should be used in place of whole milks. Vitamin D-fortified milk is a good source of calcium and vitamin D, but not iron.
  • Give your child a diet with iron-rich foods such as iron-fortified breads and iron-fortified cereals and lean meats. See Dietary Sources of Iron
  • Include fruits, vegetables or juices that are rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C helps your child absorb non-heme iron especially when the food that is a source of non-heme iron and the vitamin C-rich food are eaten at the same meal. See Dietary Sources of Vitamin C.

Adolescent girls and women of childbearing age

  • Eat iron-rich foods. See Dietary Sources of Iron.
  • Eat foods that are vitamin C sources. Vitamin C helps your body absorb non-heme iron especially when the food that is a source of non-heme iron and the vitamin C-rich food are eaten at the same meal. See Dietary Sources of Vitamin C.
  • Eat lean red meats, poultry, and fish. The iron in these foods is easier for your body to absorb than the iron in plant foods.

Pregnant women

It is recommended that pregnant women:

  • Eat iron-rich foods. See Dietary Sources of Iron.
  • Eat foods that are vitamin C sources. Vitamin C helps your body absorb non-heme iron especially when the food that is a source of non-heme iron and the vitamin-C rich food are eaten at the same meal. See Dietary Sources of Vitamin C below.
  • Eat lean red meats, poultry, and fish. The iron in these foods is easier for your body to absorb than the iron in plant foods.
  • Talk to your doctor about taking an iron supplement.

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