Do you frequently experience chronic fatigue, brain fog, and becoming sick more often than the people around you?
The problem could be iron deficiency, and if left unchecked, it can lead to iron-deficient anemia. Consider going for a hemoglobin test to check your iron levels.
All about iron for the body
The body only needs a little bit (about 1.8mg per day) and can store 6-12 months of our iron needs to guard against depletion.
It's vital to have the right amount of iron in our body because it's a component of all cells and is an essential element for the creation of blood.
Iron is also an essential part of immune function, brain activity, proper metabolism, production of collagen, a healthy nervous system, and some neurotransmitters.
Iron depletion and balance
The two main causes of iron deficiency are insufficient supply and low absorption.
Our bodies can't produce iron, so we have to get it elsewhere. If your loss or use of iron is greater than your intake, you could become depleted.
Blood loss (such as a heavy menstrual cycle or internal bleeding) is the most common cause of iron deficiency.
An iron-deficient diet is also a factor. Junk foods and highly processed foods don't give us our body's iron requirements.
FOODS RICH IN IRON
The human body is excellent at taking what it needs and filtering out the rest. Therefore, getting iron through diet is preferable to taking supplements.
We can get iron from plant iron and animal sources. Plant iron needs to be transformed by the body into a usable form, while animal iron is readily usable because the animal converted it.
Animal products that are rich in iron:
- lean beef
Plants that contain lots of iron:
- lima beans
- every kind of green leafy vegetable (the darker, the better)
Since iron from animal sources is easier for the body to absorb, meat-eaters have a much lower risk of having an issue with absorbing the iron through their diet.
However, iron from vegetable sources needs an extra boost that should come during the same meal. Taking vitamin C (ascorbic acid) boosts the absorption rates of the veggies. The good news is, most green vegetables also contain lots of vitamin C. However, it's important to note that the amount of vitamin C in a meal affects how much iron the body absorbs.
Some things lower the body's ability to absorb iron from food. Some of these include phytates (like in legumes, whole grains), coffee or tea with a meal or an hour later (instead of an hour before), and calcium (supplements and dairy).
Note: If you take too much iron, you're at risk of developing diseases like diabetes, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and heart ailments. Such situations occur from excessive use of iron supplements. To avoid this, make sure you get regular tests to keep your health in check.
A health-boosting iron tonic recipe
Use the recipe below to amp up your iron levels if you have heavy menstrual cycles or when feeling tired or depleted.
Note: this recipe has a strong flavor!
Feel free to add some honey and other herbs (like cinnamon, clove, and ginger) to tweak the taste. We suggest adding Rose Hips, Yellow Dock Root, Nettle, and molasses for high iron, vitamin C, mineral content, and absorption.
You will need:
2 big pinches of Nettle
2 big pinches of Tulsi
1 big pinch of Astragalus Root
1 big pinch of Dandelion Root
1 big pinch of Yellow Dock Root
1 quart of water
¼ cup of black strap molasses
1 pinch of Rose Hips or Schizandra Berry
Put the Astragalus Root, Dandelion Root, Yellow Dock Root, Rose Hips/Schizandra Berry, and water into a pan and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Switch off the stove then add the Nettle, Tulsi, and blackstrap molasses. Allow it to sit for about 20 minutes. Strain and enjoy!
If you have a serious medical condition like anemia, you might require supplementation in addition to the above measures. Also, it's essential to do regular blood tests and to work with your doctor to ensure that you're getting sufficient iron and that it's absorbing adequately into your bloodstream.
The Sole Toscana Beauty Team