Hope you are doing great!!
Few months ago, in March, I got a blood test and the results weren’t good at all. My levels of vitamin D, iron and ferritin were low. Yes, even in Spain, a very sunny country, we suffer vitamin D deficiency, quite normal when you spend most of the day indoors… By then the doctor’s suggestion was to increase the intake of beef, take more sun and do heavy lifting.
I like to consider myself a good patient and I followed his instructions, I add beef at least once a week and ate lunch at the sun nearly everyday.
But the results from a new blood test, just a couple of weeks ago, were even worst. The scores for vitamin D, iron and ferritin were quite low now. I explained to the doctor I was feeling very tired, exhausted and without energy. He didn’t bother much and said, it was normal, that everyone nowadays is tired and I shouldn’t worry. He said to keep eating more beef, mussels and with summer coming the sun wouldn’t be a problem…
I am not an hypochondriac at all, actually I hardly go to the doctor or take any medicine, but I was soooo bored of feeling like that I decided to apply some of my nutritional knowledge on myself.
You may be wondering why iron is so important for a good health. Iron is the responsable for the transportation of oxygen around the body. It carries oxygen in the red blood cells and delivers that oxygen to every cell in our body. If you suffer from iron deficiency you probably have experience fatigue, weakness and irritability.
There are two types of iron:
- Heme, obtain through animal source and is easier for the body to absorb. Clams, oysters, beef, lamb and turkey are great iron sources.
- Non-heme iron, is the one found in plants, like spinach, broccoli, chickpeas or red kidney beans.
Since last results I have paid a closer attention to my diet and tried to follow this simple recommendations:
1. I combine iron-rich foods with vitamin C (oranges, kiwis, mangoes), because ascorbic acid increases it absorption.
2. Also I never mix iron-rich food with dairy, eggs, berries or apples. They inhibit it absorption.
3. Increase the intake of iron-rich foods as spinach, mussels, sweet potato, pumpkin, peas or dry fruits.
Also I have every morning a shot of orange juice with spirulina (very high in iron) and even sometimes I indulge myself with a delicious spirulina smoothie.
It’s soon to get tested again, but so far I have to say, I feel much better, my mood has generally improved and my energy levels are also higher!
All this remind me how important is to keep a balanced diet to ensure an adequate nutrition and a healthy life.