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Health.com: 5 Ways Your Healthy Diet is Making You Tired

5 of 7

You Avoid Red Meat

Food Fix: Beef up on iron-rich foods

Do you eat mostly vegetarian? Is your period heavy or long? Are you a coffee or tea fiend? If you answered yes to any of these, you may need more iron, key for strength and stamina. About 12% of women ages 20 to 49 may be iron-deficient. "If you're deficient, you could eat the best diet and still be exhausted," says Meridan Zerner, RD, a sports dietitian at Cooper Aerobics in Dallas. Women need about 18 mg daily until 51, and 8mg after that. Beef is the best source of heme iron, the form most easily used by the body; a 3-ounce serving has 3mg. You can get nonheme iron from plant sources, like kidney beans (5mg in 1 cup) and spinach (3mg in ½ cup cooked). To help your body absorb nonheme iron, eat vitamin C-rich foods (orange juice, berries, tomatoes) and avoid coffee and tea an hour after eating as tannic acids can block iron absorption.

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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