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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey veg-heads


I thought I had this vegetarian thing all worked out (been veg for a few years). Have regular check-ups, but THIS time my iron was below 50% normal, which explains my sugar binges, and feeling tired.

So, obviously I am on an organic iron supplement (which also has B12 in it, yippee - kill two birds with one stone [very un-veg saying I know]).

What else can I add to my diet to ensure my iron stays level again!?

-Jess
 

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I think this is good time to re-evaluate your diet. Look at what you've been eating lately (and in what combinations) and try to make changes that will stick, rather than enforcing a rigourous routine for a few weeks and then just lapsing back into the diet that got you where you are. In other words, try to develop good eating habits in regards to iron.

Iron-rich foods include most beans, nuts, wholegrains (especially quinoa and millet), cooked green leafy vegetables, molasses, and dried fruits such as figs, prunes and apricots. Bear in mind that in order for your body to absorb iron, you need to consume vitamin C at the same time as the source of iron. So, try and have a salad or fruit alongside all of your meals to ensure adequate vit C consumption. You want to have a good source of iron at least once a day. Also, it may be worth noting that iron absorption inhibitors include coffee, tea, caffeinated drinks and smoking, so, you might want to limit your consumption of those things, and only have them outside of normal meals.

You probably already know this, but you can check your iron levels by pulling the skin underneath your eyes down and seeing the colour of the blood vessels beneath the eye. If it's bright red, you're doing great, if it's more pinkish, you're in trouble. If the latter is the case, you can try upping your vitamic C intake (try adding lemon juice to your salads) and having more sources of iron, like chopped dried fruits and nuts in your salad, a side of kale with your normal meal of, say, pasta with beans, and your iron levels should rise pretty quickly. I tried this method a few months ago with great results. Of course, a multivitamin with iron in it wouldn't hurt either.

Hope this helps. Best of luck!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Wow great advice! I think I am doing pretty well, but obviously I was 'lacking' somewhere. I've been doing a lot of 'googling' this last hour and written a comprehensive list of iron rich foods. I try to drink ribena or OJ with breaky, and I usually have a salad with lunch and dinner. Lately I've been having quiona porridge, so that should help.

I know I have been pretty lazy April - August, I had enough of 'dieting' threw down the fork, and ate lots of fried food...

I let my body down, and now it's let me down!

Thank's for the advice guys!
 

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I was at 4% iron levels when I went into the hospital, so I feel like I may be able to help you a little.


I was stuck on supplements, too, but I was also advised to increase my intake of "green leafy vegetables," as well as other foods on this website: http://worldshealthiestfoods.com/gen...70#foodsources

That website really helps me get ideas for good sources of iron.

ETA: Geez, I just read the other responses and they covered it. My post seems pointless now that I read them in detail rather than skimming.
 

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I've read that cooking in cast iron pots can put some iron into the food that's cooking in it. I might invest in some myself...or at least one. Do they even sell iron pots and pans any more?
 

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My mother has been a vegetarian for 40 years now (you're all probably tired of hearing that), but anyway, she recently went to the doctor and her iron was HIGH. We couldn't figure out why, until we read the flax seed label. Apparently flax is very high in iron, and my mother loads up on flax. I have a bowl of flax oatmeal every morning and it keeps my iron good (my mother apparently was eating much more then me). You may want to consider it.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevio View Post

I've read that cooking in cast iron pots can put some iron into the food that's cooking in it. I might invest in some myself...or at least one. Do they even sell iron pots and pans any more?
Cast iron pans do add a bit of iron to whatever's cooking in them. Not a ton but enough to make a small difference. They sell really good cast iron pans at sporting goods stores that sell camping supplies.

I was anemic both times I was pregnant (wasn't vegetarian back then so it had nothing to do with not eating meat.) They told me to eat more dark leafy greens like spinach and to make sure I was getting my vitamin C (squeeze some lemon juice onto the spinach and you're golden.) They said that meat really isn't the best source of iron (I was eating meat at the time so it obviously wasn't helping me much.)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laura_I View Post

My mother has been a vegetarian for 40 years now (you're all probably tired of hearing that), but anyway, she recently went to the doctor and her iron was HIGH. We couldn't figure out why, until we read the flax seed label. Apparently flax is very high in iron, and my mother loads up on flax. I have a bowl of flax oatmeal every morning and it keeps my iron good (my mother apparently was eating much more then me). You may want to consider it.
Thanks for that information - I always thought I'm well informed about flax. I never looked for iron contents. Does your source tell if iron is equally abundant in flax oil? That could be a reason why flax oil is going rancid so quickly.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevio View Post

I've read that cooking in cast iron pots can put some iron into the food that's cooking in it. I might invest in some myself...or at least one. Do they even sell iron pots and pans any more?
They sell them all voer, I live in the south though and do not know were you live.

You can buy them at most stores down ehre though.

Take the time to get a cast iron dutch oven while your at it, since soups and stuff tend to be cooked real slow it gives more time to leech iron out of the pot.

Just rmeber iron reacts with some foods so it might turn out to be a bit of an odd color but tasty none the less.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mazikeen View Post

but you can check your iron levels by pulling the skin underneath your eyes down and seeing the colour of the blood vessels beneath the eye. If it's bright red, you're doing great, if it's more pinkish, you're in trouble.
oh dear....i never knew that...I thought that if it was pale when you pulled the skin under your eyes, it was no big deal, just something that's different with different people.....

thanks for posting that!!

although....when you say 'blood vessels' do you mean just the veins you can sorta see or the entire area?

thanks again!

 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by steinbock View Post

oh dear....i never knew that...I thought that if it was pale when you pulled the skin under your eyes, it was no big deal, just something that's different with different people.....

thanks for posting that!!

although....when you say 'blood vessels' do you mean just the veins you can sorta see or the entire area?

thanks again!

It's the inside of skin immediately beneath your eye. If you pull that skin downwards, you see the rest of your eyeball (which should be white) and that piece of skin is slightly turned so you can see inside. You can sort of distinguish tiny little veins (or capillaries or whatever) towards the edge, but the whole area that's visible should be a healthy red - healthy as in bright. Try it using a mirror and you'll see. Glad you found that useful.
 

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i did look in a mirror...i was very curious when you brought it up, so i ran to the closest mirror to check it out...hehe
yeah, i must have quite an iron problem...very pale...now to fix that problem...


thanks again!

 

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Thanks for the heads up on the iron pots guys! I could only find teflon, caphalon(sp?), and stainless steel at my local Target. I'll either have to find a specialty store or order one online. Hope the shipping isn't too bad!
 

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If it doesn't weird you out, Goodwill and other thrift stores always have them too for VERY cheap...

I got one, scrubbed the HECK out of it, and put it in the oven on VERY VERY hot for an hour, then washed again, then "seasoned" it as directed for new pots.

(I read those directions online somewhere).

Good as new, works great, cost me 2$.
 
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