Monday, December 18

Iron as a Nutritional Supplment

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Everyone needs Iron for optimal health.  If you are a woman, a vegetarian or you are pregnant, it becomes even more important to get enough Iron.  Iron deficiency can lead to a condition called anemia and a host of symptoms and ailments come with it such as dry and pale skin, headaches, irregular periods and more serious conditions if not treated.

Heme and non-heme are the two types or iron found in foods.  Heme iron is absorbed more easily than non-heme iron but both types should still be consumed. 

There are many iron-rich foods out such as:

  • Liver

  • Lean red meats

  • Seafood, such as oysters, clams, tuna, salmon, and shrimp

  • Egg yolks

  • Turkeyor chicken giblets

  • Blackstrap molasses

  • Beans, including kidney, lima, navy, black, pinto, soy beans, and lentils

  • Iron fortified whole grains, including cereals, breads, rice, and pasta

  • Greens, including collard greens, kale, mustard greens, spinach, and turnip greens

  • Artichokes

  • Dried fruit (prunes, raisins)

  • Tofu

  • Vegetables, including broccoli, Swiss chard, asparagus, parsley, watercress, brussel sprouts

  • Nuts

These are just some of the many foods that are rick in Iron.  It is very important and very easy to get the iron you need in your diet.  Here are some more considerations to keep in mind when trying to get more Iron.

  1. If you area a tea drinker, try drinking your tea between meals instead of with meals.  Tea blocks the absorption of Iron because it contains tannin.  Drinking herbal tea is best.  Adding 1 or 2 tbsp of Blackstrap molasses to hot water is even better!

  2. When cooking, try using cast iron pots so that the iron will be absorbed into your food.

  3. If needed, supplement.  Take a multi-vitamin or speak with your doctor to see about taking iron supplements. 

  4. Eat iron-rich foods that are also high in vitamin C to better absorb the iron.

There you have it!  Now you have more knowledge on how to get more of this mineral that is so helpful for so many things in your body!  Just remember that, like everything, moderation.  It is possible to also have too much iron.  Too much iron can be harmful as well so don’t overdue it.  It is a good idea to speak with your doctor to see what iron-rich diet is best for you.  Remember to keep any iron supplements well hidden and away from children and monitor your health and keep track of any signs that may indicate you are getting to little or too much iron.

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