The problem with having suboptimal iron levels left unmanaged, is the development of iron deficiency anaemia.
This impairs red blood cell development and reduces the delivery of oxygen to the cells of the body.
Symptoms may include fatigue, weakness, pallor and shortness of breath. Additionally low iron effects cellular energy production, hormone production and detoxification pathways.
Improving your iron levels through diet can make a world of difference! You can support your iron intake by eating the following iron rich foods:
Meats, poultry and fish – Beef, pork, lamb, liver (avoid in pregnancy), turkey, chicken, oysters, sardines and salmon.
Vegetables, fruits, nuts and grains – Kelp, molasses, brewer’s yeast, pumpkin seeds, cashews, Jerusalem artichokes, swiss chard, dandelion greens, prunes and dates.
Foods rich in vitamin C will also enhance the absorption of iron from food – include red and green capsicum, broccoli, kale, parsley, lychees, kiwi fruits, oranges, lemons, limes and strawberries!
You can make a great salsa with capsicums and parsley to add to your steak soaked in some garlic and lemon juice, alongside your steamed broccoli, kale and Jerusalem artichokes!
It is always important to have a blood test done to establish and monitor your iron status before “self-prescribing” iron.
Not all iron is well absorbed, and some people may experience gastrointestinal irritation or constipation. Iron in the form of bisglycinate is extremely well absorbed and less likely to cause discomfort.
Along with Vitamin C, there are other important nutrient co-factors, important to increasing iron status:
Vitamin B1, B3, B12 and folate
Could I have low Iron?
If you answer YES to 5 or more of these questions, you may have an underlying iron deficiency which should be discussed with your natural health care practitioner:
- Do you feel tired or fatigued?
- Do you feel weak?
- Do your skin, nails, or gums look pale or feel cold?
- Do you get short of breath or breath rapidly?
- Do you get dizzy or light-headed?
- Is it difficult to concentrate?
- Does your pulse race?
- Do you have heart palpitations?
- Is your menstrual cycle irregular?
- Do you have numbness or coldness in your hands or feet?
- Do you suffer with Restless Legs Syndrome?
- Are you irritable?
- Do you feel sad or depressed?
- Do you suffer from recurring infections or colds?
- Do you know if your haemoglobin count is between 130-170 g/L for adult males and 120-150 g/L for adult females?
- Have you ever been diagnosed with anaemia?
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