Iron is an extremely important trace mineral. Iron is an essential component of hemoglobin and myoglobin. They both transport and store oxygen. Hemoglobin (within blood) stores 2/3 of the body’s iron.* Myoglobin works its magic in muscles.
It is vital. Sometimes altering iron levels changes everything!! Do you suffer from any of the following symptoms?
- Feelings of coldness
- Shortness of breath
- Irregular heartbeat
- Swelling of the ankles
- Weight loss for no apparent reason
- Do you get sick often?
- Do you have a short attention span?
- Heavy menstrual flow?
- Follow a vegetarian or vegan diet?
- Are you a teen going through a growth spurt?
- Are you over training?
Sound like you?
Keep a food journal to show your nutritionist. It may be as a simple Adjustment to the diet!
The recommended daily dietary intake is 8mg/day for adult males. Women are recommended to reach 18mg/day.
Athletes need a higher intake. Athletes tend to breakdown red blood cells at a higher rate. Runners may be more at risk due to the pounding foot strike.
Iron is readily available in meat, fish, poultry and shellfish. This is the “heme” version and is easily absorbed.
Dairy and dried fruit offer iron. Vegetables contain iron. This iron is the “nonheme” form. The short version… it won’t absorb as quickly. Speed up the process by squeezing lemon or orange juice on! VITAMIN C does the trick!
A very important fact to note:
Dark green vegetables contain iron BUT they also contain oxalic acid. Oxalic acid needs to go! Drop the vegetables into boiling water for 5-10 seconds! (if you are a foodie, simply blanche them!) This process dumps the oxalic acid yet keeps iron!
Heme IRON can be found in lots of different animal products.
* In a 2.5 ounce serving size
- Clams has 21 mg
- Pork liver 13 mg
- Beef liver 5mg
- Beef 3mg
- Chicken 2mg
Iron is readily available but ALL of those cause inflammation in the body! If you are a meat lover please choose organic grass fed meat!
As a Holistic Nutritionist *my top choices are:
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds 8.5mg
- 3/4 cup Tofu (please buy organic since SOY is GMO) 8mg
- 3/4 cup cream of wheat (organic please) 6mg
- 3/4 cup Lentils 5mg
- 1/2 cup cooked spinach 5mg (organic) Don’t forget to squeeze lemon juice on!
- 8oz prune juice 3mg (choose organic unsweetened)
To add more iron throughout the day menu choices should include:
- Baked beans
- Apricots (no sulphites please!)
- Cooked kale (organic and add lemon!)
- Potato in its jacket
- Cashews, almonds, hazelnuts, macadamia and pistachios. (pre soaking nuts aids in digeston)
Increase iron by cooking foods in a good old fashioned iron skillet!
Still rundown after diet adjustments? It’s time for a blood test!
Please don’t just start iron on your own!! IRON is TOXIC! It can cause tissue and liver damage.
ALWAYS consult a Naturopath, Medical Doctor or experienced Holistic Nutrition before starting an IRON Supplement
When I became a vegan my iron was so low the doctor said,” I am shocked you can get out of bed!”. Overnight I began supplementing.
I love liquid iron! Tastes great, quickly absorbs and it works well with my digestion system! Low quality iron supplements tend to cause constipation.
If you are new to Iron, a few tips to remember:
*DO NOT take iron supplements
- Within 2 hours of antacids or antibiotics
- With tea, coffee, chocolate or any drinks containing caffeine
- With milk and other calcium-rich supplements
- With high fiber food
I take iron with 1/2 Oz orange juice or piece fresh grapefruit before bed!
Iron changed my life! I was sleeping eight hours a night without interruption but exhausted and weak…I couldn’t push iron anymore lol
I gained weight. This fit girl was beyond disheartened. I am back on track…losing weight and back to pushing iron!! lol
Happy holistic life!