Iron is essential for maintaining good energy levels and optimal health. It is arguably one of the most important minerals, particularly as it is involved in carrying oxygen to every cell in your body. Haemoglobin is the body’s oxygen-carrying protein and where you find approximately two-thirds of youriron; therefore, without adequateironthe transportation of oxygen is affected. As ironis involved in maintaining healthy immunity, it’s no wonder you don’t feel great when your levels are low!
Symptoms of Low Iron The following symptoms could be signs of lowironlevels:
Fatigue and lethargy
Frequent colds and flus
Paleness inside the mouth and lower eyelid
Fuzzy head, not thinking clearly
Low body temperature
Restless legs or leg cramps at night.
Reasons for Low Iron Iron deficiency can be mild, however when it is very low you can become ‘anaemic’. Lowironcan be a result of not obtaining enough from your diet. Factors that may cause low iron include tea and coffee intake, blood loss, pregnancy or poor absorption as a result of underlying gut problems. Certain populations have been identified as potentially more at risk of lowironlevels, including teenagers, the elderly, pregnant women, vegetarians and vegans.
Test – Don’t Guess If you suspect you may be low iniron, it is important to speak to your healthcare practitioner about a simple blood test to assess yourironlevels, especially if you are at increased risk. Testing can ensure your safety, as symptoms of iron excess may be similar to signs ofirondeficiency and in some circumstances, high ironintake can be detrimental.
Dietary Sources of Iron Include plenty ofiron-rich foods in your diet to maintain a healthy intake. Animal foods provide a good source ofiron, including beef, lamb, kangaroo, turkey, chicken, fish, oysters, liver and sardines. The redder the meat, the higher theironcontent. Plant-sources ofironinclude molasses, shiitake mushrooms, dark green leafy vegetables (see below for an absolutely delicious kale and spinach pie recipe) and lentils. Vegetarian sources of iron may not be as well-absorbed as animal sources. Talk to your Practitioner today about taking a high potencyironsupplement. If you are vegan or vegetarian, your Practitioner can provide vegan-friendly options.
Iron Needs a Little Help from its Friends Ironworks best in your body with the help of other nutrients:
B vitamins: Vitamins B6, B12 and folate are involved inirontransportation and red blood cell production. Taking an essential B vitamin can help you build healthy cells and move energising oxygen around your body.
5-MTHF: Known as 5-methyltetrahydrofolate – the activated form of folate. It is the same form made by your body and is readily utilised.
Vitamin C: It has long been known that vitamin C increases the absorption of iron; therefore when taking iron, ideally pair it with vitamin C.
The Supplemental Form ofIronMatters Side-effects, such as constipation, are commonly complained about with certain forms of iron. Therefore it is important to choose a highly absorbable form of ironto minimise the chance of gut symptoms. Your Practitioner can recommend a suitable iron formula with all the necessary nutrients needed to restore your energy levels and maintain healthy immunity.