Women’s+ Health Series, Everyday Wellbeing: Iron

By Shareen A., Lifestyle Consultant, Livea

Is it possible you are low in iron? Do you ever feel tired or weak during the day? This may be a sign of low iron in your body. Iron deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency in 20-25% of the world’s population.

Iron deficiency is when your body doesn’t have adequate healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen to your body’s tissue. It makes you more lethargic, dizzy, and have cold hands and feet.

 

What makes it hard to retain iron?

 

  • Pregnancy
    • Your body needs iron to make more blood to supply oxygen to your baby. If you don’t have enough iron, you could develop a deficiency.
  • Menstrual cycle
    • Blood lost every month also contributes to iron loss if it is not replenished through foods.
  • Lack of iron in your diet
    • Hemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen.
    • If your body doesn’t have enough hemoglobin, your muscles and body tissue won’t be able to function properly. This leads to a condition called anemia.

 

What is the solution?

 

  • Eat more iron-rich foods!
    • There are two kinds of iron, heme, which comes from animals, and non-heme, which comes from plants, you need both kinds
    • Heme (animal) iron: 
      • chicken, shellfish, liver, red meat
    • Non-heme (plant) iron: 
      • dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, tofu
  • Eat foods with vitamin C to increase iron absorption
    • Citrus helps enhance your body’s ability to uptake iron
      • Example: add a squeeze of lemon to your grilled steak
    • Foods with vitamin C:
      • strawberries, watermelon, bell peppers, cucumbers, lemons
  • Space out your iron intake
    • Your body can absorb more iron when it is consumed in smaller doses
    • If you feel symptoms, get your levels checked by a doctor ask your pharmacist or doctor for recommendations for a supplement.
  • Eat high quality protein and vegetables to properly nourish your muscles
    • Get quality sleep and eat every 2-3 hours to help keep your iron levels in check!
  • Find a community of weight-loss experts, dietitians, and nutritionists to help you find the best meal plan and exercise program that fits your lifestyle, budget, and nutritional needs!
  • We can help you with that last tip! Discover how Livea’s customized meal planscan help you reach your goals by meeting you where you are! To learn more, contact us today at 1-855-Go-Livea (1-855-465-4832) for a complimentary consultation!

Resources:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/iron-deficiency-anemia/symptoms-causes/syc-20355034

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21934611/

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/22824-iron-deficiency-anemia

https://www.everydayhealth.com/hs/iron-deficiency-anemia/increase-iron-absorption/