I tend to be one of those people who ignore health instructions form nurses and doctors. Why? I have no clue. If you are like me, stop it. For the past 4 years of my life I have been told at every check up that my iron levels are low and in some cases too low. Pregnant or not, my iron levels are low. I need to take iron supplements but I used to hate them as they would cause constipation; so I stopped. I have lived for these years at a slowed down pace and I have now gotten used to my sluggish body. It’s crazy that only when I realized that my hair’s health was deteriorating due to my body not receiving and retaining enough iron, is when I took my iron deficiency seriously.
I jumped on amazon and grabbed the first vegan iron supplements I found that offered a gentle infusion of iron because constipation is not something I want daily. I found these vegan, plant based iron supplements on amazon and I am so happy i did. I was making sure that I was eating a healthy, balanced diet most of the times (still working on portion control y’all). I was filling up on iron-rich foods like spinach, peas, and salmon. Another tip I was given by my doctor was to look for “iron-fortified” on labels of packaged foods. I was making the mistake of drinking my coffee and taking my supplements at the same time. I later learned that caffeine is an inhibitor when it comes to the absorption of iron into our systems. I had no idea but now I know better. I encourage constant learning because sometimes you may have good intentions and think you are doing the right thing which I was, but in actual fact my timing was wrong. I started taking my iron at night and let it do the work and not have to be hindered by the caffeine intake I take throughout the day. #winwin
Watch the review of these supplements here:
So let’s talk iron and hair:
Studies have shown that anemia or deficiency of iron results in hair loss. Nutrients play a significant part in hair growth and iron is highly recommended. Since I found a “food” that had become a hindrance to my iron absorption and I was curious to learn more about foods that aided the absorption of it. Foods high in Vitamin C allow the body to absorb iron in a more efficient manner. Add oranges, strawberries, melons, broccoli, and tomatoes to next weeks grocery list. In addition to keeping green leafy vegetables in your rotation, balance it out with those vitamin c awesome foods.
For my carnivorous friends, red meat is not the devil. It is packed in iron so feel free to splurge on a juicy steak every other 2 to 3 weeks. Some of the best non-meat sources are
- Beans, including pinto, kidney, soybeans and lentils.
- Dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach.
- Fortified breakfast cereals.
- Enriched rice.
- Whole-grain and enriched breads.
I can truly tell you that I feel a lot better after taking in more iron. I honestly do not have days where I just look 2 seconds away from death. My skin has life in it, my cells look supple and my hair and nails are flourishing.