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I decided to become a blood donor, so I checked my health and my blood before applying. My doctor insisted on further tests after the first results and he discovered the condition known as hemochromatosis - this means that I have too much iron in my blood. It is still not in progress (I’m 28) and none of my organs is damaged. Since we absorb iron from the food we eat I’d like to learn something about that right and the wrong foods. What should a person with hemochromatosis eat? Thanks.

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Well, the good thing is that you are to be a life - long donor since the best way to fight this hereditary disorder is phlebotomy - removal of the blood from the organism. Of course, the diet changes are beneficial and they are not extreme. You will still be able to enjoy most of the foods, you’ll just have to reduce the amounts you take. Heme iron is the most easily absorbed type of the iron and it is found in red meet. You should avoid it as much as you can. Although some fruits and vegetables are known to contain a lot of iron, it is non - heme iron and it cannot be easily absorbed. The same goes for nuts, grains and rice. So, you are free to eat as much fruits and vegetables as you can and some of them (eggplant, for example) even contain the substances that inhibit the absorption of this non - heme iron. Eggs are also allowed since they contain a certain protein that reduces the absorption of the iron found in eggs (this is known as “the egg factor”). Sugar and products containing it can increase the level of iron absorption so avoid them. You can take vitamin C supplements since it inhibits the absorption, as well as tannin, so drinking tea and coffee can be beneficial, especially if taken during the meal. You should not consume raw shellfish because it contains a certain bacterium that can seriously endanger the health of a person suffering from hemochromatosis. And finally, try to prepare food in ceramic or glassware pans and fries since the fillings of those metal ones can come into your food.
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Vitamin C actually increases the absorption of iron, so Vitamin C supplements should be avoided.

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