I decided to start taking iron a few days a week. I have tested low enough to be turned away from donating blood a few times. Since I have been tracking my food intake with the My Fitness Pal app on the phone, I have discovered that my iron intake is low. In my search for energy and balance, I felt that taking some iron may be helpful.
Like vitamin D, from the previous post, you can take too much iron. Please use with caution and discuss iron supplementation with your doctor.
The body uses iron to help build red blood cells. These cells are what carry oxygen through the body.
Signs and symptoms of low Iron
- Feal weak and/or fatigue easy
- Pale appearance
- Shortness of breath
- Children and babies can have different signs, including slow growth and skill development
- Difficulty maintaining body temperature
- Urge to eat unusual substances
- Rapid heartbeat
- Difficulty focusing
- Brittle nails and/or hair loss
How to boost iron without supplements
- Do NOT drink coffee or tea for up to 3 hours before your iron containing meal. They can interfere with your body’s ability to absorb the iron.
- Eat foods with vitamin C with iron containing foods to help with absorption, especially with plant based sources.
- The body tends to absorb meat based sources more efficiently but all of these foods can help boost your iron:
Clams, Oysters, Beef, Liver, Kale, Spinach, White Beans, Tofu, Watermelon, Strawberries, fortified grains and cereals, Pumpkin seeds, Molasses, Lentils
|Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for iron by age and sex.|
|Age/Group||Life Stage||Iron (mg/day)|
|Pregnant Women||14–18 years||27|
|Lactating Women||14–18 years||10|
*This value is an Adequate Intake (AI) value. AI is used when there is not enough information known to set a Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA).
Source: Dietary Reference Intakes, Institute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board .* (PDF-86k)