Cart

Your cart is empty

Continue shopping now

Iron Deficiency


By: @curawellness.co, www.curawellness.co


Iron is an essential nutrient required for many metabolic processes. Most importantly, it's required for the transportation of oxygenated blood from the lungs to the rest of the body. Despite how vital iron is for our entire circulatory system, many people often struggle with either a lack of iron-rich foods in their diet, or on the contrary, absorbing too much iron which threatens their health. Both too little and too much iron can become detrimental so it's important to find the right balance to protect against iron deficiency and iron overload. 


Common Symptoms of Iron Deficiency include:

- Fatigue/lethargy

- Pale skin and fingernails

- Brittle and spooned nails

- Cold extremities

- Dizziness

- Headaches

- Chest pain, elevated heartbeat, shortness of breath

- Glossitis (enlarged tongue)

- Hair loss or brittle and dry skin


Heme vs Non-Heme Iron


There are two different forms of iron from dietary sources: heme and non-heme iron.


Heme iron is obtained from animal products and is more readily absorbed as opposed to plant-based sources. Animal protein contains molecules that help enhance the absorption of iron.


Non-heme iron is less bioavailable as it requires other factors to enhance absorption, and is also influenced by dietary factors that can reduce absorption such as phytates (found in legumes, grains, and nuts) and tannins (found in coffee, black tea, and chocolate). Non-heme iron is found in plant-based sources such as legumes, vegetables, fruits, and pulses.


It’s important to consume a variety of both heme and non-heme sources to ensure you obtain a well balanced source of iron. See below for a list of contributors to iron deficiency along with barriers to absorption. 


Insufficient Consumption of Iron-Rich Foods


Typically common for vegetarians and vegans, however regardless of your dietary preferences, a lack of iron-rich foods in general (heme and non-heme iron) may potentially result in iron deficiency 


Anti-Nutrients


As mentioned earlier, the presence of phytates or tannins with an iron-rich meal will reduce the ability to absorb the iron as it binds to the phytates and tannin instead. It is also possible for some nutrients, such as calcium, to compete with iron for absorption.


Poor Digestive Function 


Hypochlorhydria (i.e. low hydrochloric/gastric acid) in the stomach often results in nutritional deficiencies, as optimal levels of gastric acid is required for efficient absorption of nutrients. Low appetite is just one of the signs that you may have low hydrochloric acid and should incorporate more digestive enzymes and bitters into your diet to help stimulate digestion. This can look like adding lemon juice to meals or starting your day with a warm lemon water, having apple cider vinegar shots 20 minutes before meals, and consuming more bitter greens like rocket and dandelion greens.


Stress


Stress activates the sympathetic nervous system (i.e. fight or flight response) which shunts blood flow away from the digestive system. This can lead to poor digestion and nutrient absorption, therefore resulting in possible iron deficiency.


Menstruation 


Women have an increased susceptibility to iron deficiency due to the amount of blood they lose each month during their menstrual cycle, especially if you’re a woman that experiences heavy blood flow during menstruation.


Tips for Enhancing Iron Absorption

 

- Consume sufficient amounts of iron-rich foods, including a variety of both heme and non-heme sources

- Avoid phytates and tannin sources with meals. Drink your coffee/tea at least 30 mins to 1 hour away from iron-rich foods. Soaking phytates sources (e.g. legumes, pulses, and beans) prior to cooking also helps to reduce the content of phytates, which minimises the inhibitory effect on iron absorption

- Include more digestive enzymes and bitters to stimulate gastric secretions and enhance overall nutrient absorption

- Consume iron rich foods with Vitamin C sources to increase absorption

- Investigate through further testing under professional guidance especially if you’re experiencing any symptoms mentioned above. It’s important to test your entire iron studies, as well as haemoglobin and general full blood chemistry prior to considering supplementation or an iron infusion as this may cause more harm than good, depending on all your levels.


If you’re unsure, please contact Tayla via email hello@curawellness.co, Instagram @curawellness.co or book in for a naturopathic consultation (available to anyone in Australia).


References: 

Gattermann, N., Muckenthaler, M. U., Kulozik, A. E., Metzgeroth, G., & Hastka, J. (2021). The Evaluation of Iron Deficiency and Iron Overload. Deutsches Arzteblatt international, 118(49), 847–856. https://doi.org/10.3238/arztebl.m2021.0290

Ning, S., & Zeller, M. P. (2019). Management of iron deficiency. Hematology. American Society of Hematology. Education Program, 2019(1), 315–322. https://doi.org/10.1182/hematology.2019000034

Whitney, E., Rolfes, S. R., Crowe, T., & Walsh, A. (2019). Understanding nutrition 4th ed. Cengage Learning

Previous
Next

The Wellness Club

5 Benefits of Reformer Pilates

5 Benefits of Reformer Pilates

Translation missing: ko.blogs.article.by Taylor Davis

By: @coreflexpilates, founder Chris Bardawil Reformer pilates is everywhere, it's not just all over social media we are also seeing our favourite celebs doing it. The reality is reformer pilates has been a staple of many people’s exercise routines for over a decade now, and for good reason.

Read more
Burnout: What Is It and How to Recover

Burnout: What Is It and How to Recover

Translation missing: ko.blogs.article.by Taylor Davis

By: @drmelissa.co Burnout is a concern I see often in clinical practice. Although it is not a diagnosable disease, it is a syndrome, meaning it is defined by a set of symptoms, but does not have a consistent progression or clear treatment plan. In other words, burnout is a very real issue, but may look different from person to person and require...

Read more
Nutritional Support for Hashimoto’s Disease and Hypothyroidism

Nutritional Support for Hashimoto’s Disease and Hypothyroidism

Translation missing: ko.blogs.article.by Taylor Davis

  By: Megan Tomlin @gooodmoodfoood Did you know that up to 60% of cases of Hashimoto’s disease go undiagnosed? Or that women are 5 to 8 times more likely to have a thyroid condition? Knowing these facts, it is shocking that so many of us are still unclear about...

Read more
Are Collagen Supplements Worth Taking? A Dermatologist Weighs In.

Are Collagen Supplements Worth Taking? A Dermatologist Weighs In.

Translation missing: ko.blogs.article.by Taylor Davis

By: @dermahealthnutrition The pursuit of youthful, glowing skin is a timeless quest. It fuels a booming industry of skincare products, treatments, and supplements, including collagen, all claiming to improve the signs of ageing. Here's what you need to know to navigate the abundance of collagen powders, capsules, and liquids.  Skin ageing is a multifaceted...

Read more
Sporty & Rich Wellness - Collagen-Rich Foods vs. Supplements

Collagen-Rich Foods vs. Supplements

Translation missing: ko.blogs.article.by Taylor Davis

By: @coreflexpilates founder Chris Bardawil What is the best way to boost your body's collagen production? Supplements or diet, here is a run down of the basics to help you navigate your way around understanding collagen and how you can boost your body's supplies. Collagen...

Read more
The Power of Spending Time in Silence

The Power of Spending Time in Silence

Translation missing: ko.blogs.article.by Taylor Davis

@emily_campbell In today’s age, even if you don’t live in a hustling and bustling city, you may still experience constant noise. We have become so accustomed to noise everywhere we go, including our homes. Without knowing it, you may prefer “background noise” to block out any unwanted thoughts or feelings that pop up....

Read more
Sporty & Rich Wellness - How to Navigate Job Insecurity

How to Navigate Job Insecurity

Translation missing: ko.blogs.article.by Taylor Davis

By: @ericabassotherapy Experiencing a layoff at your workplace or losing your job can be extremely stressful. It's normal to feel a range of emotions during such times. Job loss or insecurity can threaten components of psychological well-being, such as one’s financial health and identity, and leave individuals feeling vulnerable and...

Read more
Irregular Periods: What Do They Mean?

Irregular Periods: What Do They Mean?

Translation missing: ko.blogs.article.by Taylor Davis

By: drmelissa.co A woman’s period is a vital sign. Just like your blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, and breath rate, a woman’s cycle is indicative of her health overall. An imbalanced period indicates suboptimal health.  The menstrual cycle is incredibly complex and requires a constellation of factors to align for it to occur at regular intervals. Factors that can delay a period or cause...

Read more
The Health Benefits of Ghee

The Health Benefits of Ghee

Translation missing: ko.blogs.article.by Taylor Davis

By: @islandem_ Ghee, or clarified butter, is the product of slowly heating cow’s butter to 100°C until the fat, milk protein (casein), and sugar (lactose) separate. The protein and milk are...

Read more
The Power of Napping

The Power of Napping

Translation missing: ko.blogs.article.by Taylor Davis

By: @inceipek1 In today's fast-paced world, where work schedules are demanding and screens keep us connected around the clock, finding time to rest and rejuvenate has become increasingly challenging. However, one simple yet highly effective practice that offers us a potential solution is napping. Often underestimated, napping holds a plethora of benefits for both physical and mental health. The Science Behind Napping

Read more
Should You Workout on an Empty Stomach?

Should You Workout on an Empty Stomach?

Translation missing: ko.blogs.article.by Taylor Davis

By: @coreflexpilates founder Chris Bardawil  This is a topic that has so many variables but this article will give you some real world experience and ideas on how you can come to your own conclusion when it comes to working out on an empty stomach. The first thing to consider...

Read more
5 Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

5 Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

Translation missing: ko.blogs.article.by Taylor Davis

By: @coreflexpilates founder Chris Bardawil  Most of us know about the physical benefits of exercise: improved posture, weight management, increased energy, looking stronger...but what about the psychological benefits of exercise? Here are five key benefits your mental health will get from regular exercise.  Better Sleep: Exercise can help regulate our circadian rhythm which is our body's internal clock that influences when we feel tired and when we feel...

Read more