Thursday, February 10, 2011

Unlocking Iron

Apologies for the randomness of this post, but I felt the need to share.

I am prone to having iron deficiency anemia.

I've been told by doctors and friends alike to "eat red meat" to fix this problem. But that doesn't really work for me. Why? Well, there's that whole pesky VEGETARIAN thing that I'm trying to go for.

So here are some pointers for anyone wanting to keep up their iron levels without slaughtering Bambi's mom, Maude the cow, or Miss Chicken Liver.

Pointer #1: Eat foods high in Vitamin C when getting your iron.

Vitamin C helps your body unlock and absorb the iron. So when you are having your bowl of oatmeal or iron-fortified cereal, pour yourself a glass of 100% juice to go with it. When you are having a spinach salad, throw some mandarin oranges on it.

Pointer #2: Get your iron from a variety of sources.

Variety is good in your diet. Duh. Here are some of my high-iron favorites: walnuts, spinach, fortified cereals & oatmeal, chickpeas, okay just about any beans, raisins, peanuts, dried apricots, Clif Bars, and Clif Boulder Bars.

Pointer #3: If resorting to supplements, add LOTS of fiber to your diet.

Enough said.

If your interested in learning more, check out this link from the Center of Disease Control:

The one thing they don't mention is that you can also become iron deficient if you work out a lot - it makes sense though if you think about it. As you work out, you damage your muscles and they rebuild - and your body uses your blood to do this. So the more you use your blood the more you will need to replace your body's iron & other nutrients in order to recover. Just something else to keep in mind, especially if you find that you get really tired when you work out rather than feeling energized :)

My two cents for the day.

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