How to have Healthy Iron Levels without Red Meat!
10 Signs of Low Iron Levels
Iron is an essential mineral that helps oxygen travel in the body. It is required to produce red blood cells. Red blood cells contain haemoglobin. Haemoglobin is an iron-rich protein that is needed to carry oxygen from the lungs to all of your body muscles and organs. Iron is also necessary for a healthy immune system, responsible for the production of white blood cells and vital antibodies that help your body to fight disease.
It is easier than you may think, to have Healthy Iron Levels without Eating Red Meat. As you realize, iron is an important mineral for the body. You can get iron from many plant foods, not just red meat. Some plant foods that have iron are whole grains like quinoa and buckwheat, legumes like lentils and chickpeas, nuts and seeds, dried fruits like apricots, dates, and prunes, dark green leafy vegetables and soybean products.
Without sufficient iron: you will be more susceptible to frequent infections such as colds, flu and can lead to more serious health issues. In this article you will learn the 10 Signs of Low Iron levels and how you can maintain healthy iron levels without eating red meat, how this can be easier than you think.
How Your Body Produces Energy!
The body produces energy by breaking down of healthy, whole foods and drinks that you consume. This production of energy once digested is in the form of glucose. Iron is a necessary nutrient for the production of glucose. Glucose being the main fuel for both your brain and your body as a whole. This is why when you are low on iron often you will feel lethargic and have trouble concentrating.
Healthy glucose production comes from foods that the body can easily convert such as wholegrain pastas, vegetable and lean meat proteins and fruits. Women will become iron deficient more easily than that of a man, due to menstruation. If left unnoticed or treated this can lead to anaemia, a condition that is characterised by low levels of red blood cells.
The following are the nutrients that the body uses as energy sources:
Complex Carbohydrates – These are the healthy carbohydrates such as sweet potato, whole grains such as quinoa, brown rice, lentils, peas, and beans: the most frequently used as energy sources since they are fast-acting and turn into energy almost instantly after consumption.
Healthy Fats: such as avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, coconut yogurt, nuts, seeds, Atlantic salmon, and whole eggs. These are the slowest sources of energy but the body’s most concentrated and energy-efficient form of food.
Healthy Protein: Lean red meat, chicken breast, fish, nuts, seeds, eggs, chickpeas, tofu, coconut yogurt, coconut milk, soy products and beans. These consist of units called amino acids, strung together in complex formations.
Vitamins and minerals. Found in Fresh Whole Foods are the best sources of energy to sustain your health and vitality.
The body can provide energy through aerobic or anaerobic metabolism, depending on the intensity and/or duration of activity. Aerobic metabolism is when the body produces energy using oxygen, while anaerobic metabolism is when the body produces energy without oxygen. Aerobic metabolism is more efficient and can use different sources of fuel, while anaerobic metabolism is less efficient and can only use glucose and glycogen.
10 Signs of Low Levels of Iron:
Low iron levels, iron deficiency leads to a condition known as anemia. The body isn’t able make haemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that enables them to carry oxygen through your blood vessels. When your body doesn’t have enough haemoglobin, your tissues and muscles do not get enough oxygen to be able to work efficiently.
- Pale skin, tiredness.
- Feeling unable to tolerate strenuous activity or exercise.
- Difficulty thinking or concentrating.
- Suffering from regular bouts of ill health such as colds and flu.
- Extreme fatigue.
- Unexplained weakness.
- Cold hands and feet.
- Inflammation or soreness of the tongue.
- Heart Palpitations – There is still study being carried out regarding the link between iron deficiency, anemia, and heart problems, but they believe that the reduced oxygen supply can be the reason.
- Restless legs.
When to see a Health Care Professional
It can be beneficial to talk to your Health Care Professional if you are experiencing many of these signs of iron deficiency, seeking Professional help will provide support you with care and treatment necessary to restore healthy levels.
A Naturopath will provide you with natural treatments and healthy dietary suggestions to help restore healthy iron levels. A General Practitioner will be able to refer you to a Specialist to investigation if there are any serious issues causing the anemia, such as internal bleeding.
What you can do to Restore Healthy Iron Levels!
Looking at this in terms of what is best for your long term and overall health. I must mention that you don’t have to start eating copious amounts of red meat to improve your iron levels. In fact, this may not help a great deal especially if a major part of the problem isn’t that you are not necessarily getting enough iron, but that your body may well be having trouble metabolizing it. If you are not vegetarian but do not want to start eating red meat again, looking at other animal-based foods that are rich in iron include: Lean Chicken, Turkey, Pork, Fish and Eggs.
Whether you are vegetarian or not: A great healthy way to improve your consumption of iron rich foods whilst also supporting improved metabolism of the iron that you are consuming. These foods include wholegrain bread, wheat germ, legumes (lentils, peas, baked beans, humus), nuts and seeds (LSA mix, peanut butter, almond spread, tahini), parsley, mint, green leafy vegetables (spinach and kale) and dried apricots. To help with the absorption or metabolism of iron it is important to include fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamin C as this greatly increases the absorption of iron. So freshly squeezed orange, grapefruit or lemon juice: Kiwi fruit, berries and capsicum are great sources of Vitamin C.
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