Why you’re low in iron, even when you’re eating spinach!
Iron is one of the most common mineral deficiencies seen in North America. It is a concern because fatigue and hair loss are some of the most common symptoms associated.
It’s especially common in women with monthly menses that deplete blood iron. I believe some other reasons iron is often so low is from a lack of sources in our diet, poor absorption, and the depletion of iron through infections like bacteria.
We can increase our absorption of iron by:
- Vitamin C – improves absorption in the small intestine
- Vitamin A – increases iron storage in the liver
- B 12, Folic Acid – also needed for red blood cell formation
- Animal iron (heme) increases absorption of non-heme (vegetable) types
- Amino acids – because protein carries iron from the small intestine into the blood
Iron absorption is decreased through:
- tea, coffee
- oxalates – in uncooked spinach, rhubarb
- phytates – in uncooked grains
- carbonated drinks
- phosphates – in pop, processed foods
Good foods sources include:
- seaweeds, algae
- dark leafy greens – collards, kale, chards
- lean red meats
- kidney beans, lima beans, soybeans
If supplementation is required try to find an iron that is in a chelate or glycinate as these forms often pose less of a risk of constipation. Liquids can also be a better option for absorption.
Don’t forget supplementation of iron shouldn’t be taken with other minerals like Calcium or Zinc, as they can reduce Iron’s absorption as well.
xc Dr. Alana