Got Iron?

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Ladies…Have you been head-bobbing your way through your days? Is the thought of morning coffee the only reason you can drag yourself out of bed?  Do you crave sweet snacks and carbs in the afternoon like an addict looking for a fix? Have you had blood work done only to discover that you iron is low? Well, you are not alone. 

Before you read any further please know that I am not a medical professional. There are many serious reasons for low iron. Some forms of cancer, some autoimmune diseases, and genetic disorders such as thalassemia, heavy menses and pregnancy, to name a few. 

If you have already been to your doctor to rule out any possible serious causes for your anemia/low iron but are still having troubles getting back on track, then this post is for you. 

So, let’s assume that there is adequate iron going into your body. Healthy diet and supplements are your go-to, yes? Now, you may be wondering why you are still suffering.  A common reason, often over-looked reason for this is inflammation in the gut.

 INFLAMMATION = IMPAIRED ABSORPTION

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Inflammation in the gut can happen at any age and it happens all the time to otherwise healthy, fit, shiny, smiling, people who have no idea that they even have a digestive issue. If you have inflammation in your gut then you are not going to digest and absorb iron well, or anything else for that matter. IMHO, the foods going in are often the issue, not anything functionally wrong with the digestive tract itself.

So what’s a gal to do? Well, the first step is to avoid the common offenders and see if that makes a difference, and I am willing to bet it will make a BIG difference.

TOP 5 FOODS TO AVOID TO SOOTH GUT INFLAMMATION

CORN

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Corn is a popular GMO crop. I am sure you have heard by now that GMO corn is so prevalent that many organic growers are having a difficult time keeping their organic certification for their farms due to cross contamination from conventionally grown farms nearby. Steer clear of this highly sprayed, genetically modified grain for a short while and see if you notice a difference in your digestion. 

GLUTEN

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Gluten is so dear to the hearts of many that this is often the hardest to eliminate from the diet. I’m sure everyone remembers the sourdough craze at the beginning of the COVID lockdown. Sourdough starter recipes/videos/workshops jammed my social feed for weeks. Is gluten the most evil, addictive substance on earth? No, not really but it is difficult to digest for many people and leaving it out of your diet for awhile will help you get back on track. Many people notice mood/concentration/memory improvement with the elimination of gluten. I suggest keeping a food journal. 

SOY

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Soy is another well known GMO crop. It also has a definite estrogenic effect on women which can be beneficial or detrimental depending on your genetics. I don’t tolerate it well, but I know many who swear by it. Avoid it for the purpose of investigating the root cause of possible gut inflammation. Eventaully you might add it in as an occasional source of plant protein; look for sprouted, non-GMO tofu, or fermented non-GMO products such as Tempeh, for easier digestion.

DAIRY

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This is a big contributor to inflammation across the board. Dairy creates mucous. Allergy sufferers and asthmatics will tell you that their symptoms decrease when they cut dairy from their diet. If you get bloated and full of farts after dairy this might be a good time to take a break and see how you feel without it in your life for a while. I know, I know…I love it too but you may find that you can tolerate it every now and again if you get your digestion in order. Yes, yogurt too, sorry. 

 SUGAR

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Refined sugar is incredibly addictive, our brains are wired to seek it out. The less desirable bacteria in our gut crave it like mad when deprived of it. Kicking it isn’t easy. Watch for increased carb cravings when you cut sugar as your body will look for ways to get that sugar fix in strange and mysterious ways. As is often the case in life, the harder you have to work at something the greater the pay off. You will be amazed how your overall health will improve without a steady supply of sugar. Any bloating and discomfort you are experiencing will greatly decrease or disappear all-together, I promise. 

Try removing these common inflammation triggers from your diet. You might just find that your iron supplements are better absorbed or, better yet, that you don’t need them at all! 

Life is Good.

h xx

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