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Pumping Iron – How To Avoid The Most Common Micronutrient Deficiency

Pumping Iron – How To Avoid The Most Common Micronutrient Deficiency

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Who is at risk of an iron deficiency?

  • Women
  • pregnancy women, infant children and adolescence
  • Athletes
  • People with conditions that may affect absorption ie. crohn’s & coeliac disease
  • People over the age of 75

Healthy high iron ideas

  • Bircher Muesli
  • Avocado & poached eggs on a bed of baby spinach
  • Falafels made with mixed beans & chickpeas
  • Stir-fried veggies & kangaroo fillet on brown rice

Tips to increase iron absorption

  • Drink tea or coffee between meals rather than at meal time. The tannins in these drinks prevent iron from being absorbed as well.
  • Eat vitamin C containing foods such as fruits and veggies at meal times. This will help your body break down iron-containing foods for better absorption.
  • Eat your meat and veggies at the same time, because animal protein boosts iron absorption from plant sources.
  • Cook veggies to increase the amount of available non-haem iron.
  • Avoid large amounts of dairy at main meals. High levels of calcium and phosphorus can reduce the absorption of iron from plant foods.

Do you need an iron supplement?

There are three stages of low iron levels, beginning with iron depletion, then iron deficiency and finally iron deficiency anaemia. A simple blood test can identify any stage of low iron levels. Iron deficiency anaemia generally required an iron supplement, while iron depletion may be treatable with a high iron diet.

In some cases, iron supplementation can interfere with the absorption of other nutrients such as zinc, and could have side effects such as nausea and constipation. Supplements can also interfere with other medications you may be taking. For these reasons it is important to have your iron levels checked and always consult with your doctor before starting an iron supplement.

 

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