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Risk of low iron levels for vegetarians

16th Aug, 2017  |  Claire O'Brien  |  Balanced Diet, Lifestyle

People adopt a vegetarian diet for numerous reasons. Although this may increase the risk of having low iron, vegetarians need not suffer. Active Iron is suitable for vegetarians.

Iron is necessary for carrying oxygen in the hemoglobin of your red blood cells. These cells carry oxygen throughout your body, giving you energy.

Vegetarians are at a higher risk of iron deficiency compared to people who consume meat. Although a vegetarian diet is normally high in iron rich foods, these plant-based sources of iron are poorly absorbed.

There is some disagreement about plant foods as an iron source. For example, spinach contains oxalates that block absorption.

Problems may arise because your body is not absorbing enough iron, even though you may be consuming enough of it.

This poor absorption is often coupled with other potential obstacles such as phytates in whole grains and legumes or tannins in tea and coffee. Phytates are considered as ‘anti-nutrients’ because they bind minerals in the digestive tract, making them less available to our bodies. Tannins have been shown to directly affect iron availability, reducing absorption.

Iron is one of the few nutrients where a deficiency can immediately affect your health and is detectable. If you have iron-deficiency symptoms it is advisable to get your bloods checked by your doctor.

a deficiency can immediately affect your health

Here are some of the signs to look out for:

  • Tiredness;
  • lethargy;
  • cold hands and feet;
  • feeling short of breath;
  • pale skin;
  • heart palpitations;
  • brittle nails;
  • swelling or soreness of the tongue;
  • cracks in the sides of the mouth;
  • frequent infections;
  • restless legs syndrome;
  • chest pain;
  • general feeling of weakness.

There is the equivalent of 17 cups of spinach in one capsule of Active Iron. It is better absorbed and better tolerated than other iron products.

Active Iron targets the site of iron absorption in the intestine, increasing the amount of iron absorbed and making more iron available to your body. This means there is less unabsorbed iron in the gut which helps protects it from inflammation and reactive oxygen species.

Standard ferrous sulfate tablets dissolve in the stomach or the lower intestines causing negative side effects such as nausea, diarrhoea, and constipation.

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