Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Good Nutrient : Iron

Feeling tired? Drained? Can't focus?
The winter grayness is starting to sap my energy.

Maybe I need a solid dose of Iron!

Iron is the core of the hemoglobin molecule, the little guy who carries oxygen in the body. If our iron stores are low, our muscles don't get enough oxygen and we feel fatigued. A lack of iron could be causing your headaches, your dizziness or even your apathetic attitude. Sound familiar? It does to me.....

In the morning, I reach for my coffee but I'm starting to think twice. My mocha won't help boost natural energy levels, in fact the caffeine and tannins found in tea and coffee drinks inhibit the body's iron uptake, totally counter productive to its energy-focused goal. The same concept holds true for soda, so be warned you diet coke fiends!

How much iron do we need? Women 19-30 year old should get about 18 mg per day. And a male of the same age, about 10-12 mg.

Interestingly enough, if you are taking oral contraceptives, you may need less iron because the drug changes the iron status within your body.

For a good measurement, a cup of cooked spinach delivers 36% of your daily value of iron and a serving of shrimp yields 20%.

Now we know why Popeye had so much E N E R G Y !!