-Shortness of breath
-Cold hands or feet
-Restless leg syndrome
As women, we are even more prone to low iron levels since we lose blood because of that lovely monthly visit. Awesome. (Seriously wish there was some sort of sarcasm font to really make my point)
Sometimes I get caught up in different areas of health: running, lifting weights, yoga, enough veggies, protein, etc. I end up focusing more on pumping this kind of iron:
And forget about the nutritional kind of iron.
If you are concerned with your iron levels, you can supplement them several ways. The easiest way is simply to increase the amount of iron-rich foods you eat. While a lot of animal based foods contain lots of iron, they aren't the only ones. Here's a list of some of the best foods to consume if you're low on iron. Bonus points if you consume them with Vitamin C: it helps the body absorb the iron.
-Dark Leafy Greens
-Lentils, Beans, Chickpeas
-Fortified Foods: lots of cereals and packaged foods
Many people opt to take an iron supplement as well. For some, this can cause stomach problems so it is best to eat something when you take them. Keep in mind that woman need a minimum of 18 mg. of iron per day--and significantly more if you're pregnant.
Are you low on iron?
Yes! I'm not anemic, but my levels are low enough to need to pay attention to. I try to include as much iron in my diet as I can.
What are your favorite iron-rich foods?
Spinach, hands down! I could eat that stuff all day long. I also realized that Rice Chex have got a HUGE amount of iron in each serving. Perfect for me, I've been eating at least one serving each day as a snack!
Have you ever taken an iron supplement?
I tried taking a chewable iron supplement, but it made my stomach really upset. Eventually, I decided to try to get my iron from my foods instead and so far, so good!
**PS--those of you who already sent me your running in costume photos, AWESOME! So great! If you haven't yet, you still can! I'm compiling a post of all of your awesome photos. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org! **