Iron is a really important mineral necessary for good health.
Haemoglobin in iron carries oxygen from the lungs throughout the body to your cells and without enough iron, you can’t produce enough oxygen, and this can leave you with symptoms such as
- shortness of breath
- muscle weakness
- pale/yellow skin
There are two forms of iron:
1) heme iron, found in animal sources such as red meat, organ meats, poultry etc
2) non-heme iron found in plant tissue such as green leafy vegetables eg spinach, kale, chickpeas, lentils, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds.
There are several reasons why you could be low in iron and this could include not only how much iron you consume in your diet but also how well it’s absorbed.
Low stomach acid production can inhibit iron absorption. So here’s a useful tip to know – the absorption rate of iron is six times higher if consumed with Vitamin C, so enjoy iron-rich food with brightly coloured fruit and vegetables. I am a huge supporter of ‘eating the rainbow’ every day – fill your plate with colourful veggies to make sure you are benefitting from all of those good phytonutrients that support and promote good health.
When did you last get your iron levels checked?
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms speak to your GP about getting a blood test. Do not take iron supplements unless advised by a professional.
Iron is not easily excreted, meaning an excess can build up and high levels of iron can be as problematic as low levels.
For more information on Eating the Rainbow check out my other blogs on the website.
The Fresh & Seasonal series looks at the benefits of each colour of fruit and veg. Lots of easy tips in each one and a recipe too.