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Help! Anemia Advice

OK, most of my life I have battled iron deficiency anemia and already know that I cannot tolerate iron sups of any kind as I have tried them all. I am currently pregnant and just got a call from the doc over the bloodwork I had done yesterday and my hem count is at 6.8! This is extremely low as it should be about 12. Normally I hover around 10. So please, any suggestions on how to get some apsorbable iron in me would be so appreciated! I’ve been trying wheatgrass but am having real trouble with it being too intense for me. I just end up barfing ater I drink it. Thanks guys!



  • writeeternitywriteeternity Raw Newbie

    Hi Lauralai, Have you tried pumpkin seeds? They are high in iron. You can put them in bread or pates. I’ve also heard watermelon’s high in it- smoothies. What else have you tried?

  • ever tried floradix??? best stuff i have ever taken…. http://www2.clicshop.com/Stores/liquidnutrition…

    after i gave birth my iron was very low and my midwife refered me to this. o my god it worked miracles but i dont know how it would work for you?

  • Well, this morning I had a smoothie made with pumpkin seed milk, blueberries, and greens. I haven’t had lunch yet, my appetite has been weird lately. Not very strong for being 7 months preggo.

  • writeeternitywriteeternity Raw Newbie

    Hi! I found this on the internet- I hope it helps! http://www.allayurveda.com/topic_month.htm

    Beets, fenugreek and black sesame seeds are recommended.

    Factors that inhibit iron absorption

    Phytates/phytic acid- myoinostol hexaphosphate- is common in grains and legumes, and sharply reduces the bioavailability of iron. The phytate content of foods is reduced, but not eliminated by milling and some common processing techniques. Of interest to raw vegans, Hurrell [1997, p. S5] notes:

    Some traditional processes such as fermentation, germination, and even soaking can activate phytases in cereal grains or flours, which then degrade phytic acid and improve Fe absorption (Sandberg and Svanberg, 1991).

    Polyphenols—including phenolic acids, tannins, flavonoids. Common in tea, coffee, chocolate, wine.

    Calcium (Ca)—inhibits iron absorption when given in inorganic (supplement) form, or in dairy. The effect of Ca depends on the composition of the meal, and the level of Ca it contains. Mixed or complex meals (i.e., meals of several food items) generally do not inhibit Fe absorption. In contrast, Ca may inhibit Fe absorption in mono-meals (the practice of mono-eating is recommended by some raw vegans) depending on the food eaten.

    Fiber. Freeland-Graves [1988], citing Bindra et al. [1986], reports that dietary fiber might inhibit Fe absorption. Hurrell [1997], citing Rosssander et al. [1992], reports that fiber has little effect on Fe absorption. It appears that the effect of fiber on Fe absorption has not been resolved yet.

    Protein. Proteins can inhibit or enhance iron absorption depending on the type of protein. Proteins are converted into peptides in digestion, and these can bind Fe. Legume proteins (including soy), milk casein, and egg albumin, can bind iron.

    Nuts. Nuts can sharply inhibit the absorption of iron in a meal; the inhibition can be overcome, however, by the addition of vitamin C to the meal (Craig [1994]).

    Factors that enhance iron absorption

    Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and other organic acids. A good absorption enhancer in supplement form and also in the form of fruits and vegetables. Hurrell [1997], citing Hallberg et al. [1989], reports that at sufficiently high concentrations, the iron enhancement effect of ascorbic acid can overcome the inhibiting effect of phytic acid in grains. Craig [1994] reports that other organic acids (citric, malic, tartaric, and lactic) can also enhance iron absorption.

    Iron deficiency in vegns

    Freeland-Graves [1988, p. 861] notes:

    Dwyer et al (28) reported mild Fe deficiency in 25% of preschool vegetarian children despite normal intakes of Fe. In adult lacto-ovo-vegetarians, Bindra and Gibson (30) also found a high prevalence of Fe deficiency with normal dietary Fe intakes. In new vegans (32) low Fe stores as measured by serum ferritin were found in 27% of the females, and 10% had values <10 />

    The above quote indicates that at least some vegns are low or deficient in iron. Craig [1994] cites four studies that found vegetarians had lower serum ferritin levels, and reduced iron stores, when compared to omnivores. In contrast to the preceding, Craig [1994] cites four other studies that did not find differences in iron levels, comparing vegetarians against non-vegetarians. Craig [1994] concludes that a balanced veg*n diet can supply adequate iron. However, Craig suggests a diet that includes grains, nuts, and seeds, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables. The idea is that the vitamin C in the fresh fruits and vegetables will counteract the iron inhibitors in the grains and seeds, hence make the iron (in the grains and seeds) available for absorption.

  • Wow, that’s just the info I needed! Thank you so much1

  • spiritedmamaspiritedmama Raw Newbie

    I second the floradix, I recommend it to mama’s that I work with if they have low iron. I also took it myself when I was pregnant with my daughter.

  • I don’t know what floradix is but I had been anemic all my life. In 1999, I was introduced to Barley Green, which is a GDM (Green Drink Mix) as a supplement for my son since I was working on treating him naturally/alternatively for ADHD. Well, as it turned out we had to use it because we couldn’t expect him to make any adjustments in his diet solely without supporting him by participating it as well. I drank this for years (and currently do now) and have recently (2005) discovered Mixed Greens, another GDM. I’ve had two physicals since then and each time I’ve had my blood tests done, I’ve discovered that I’m no longer anemic. I didn’t start drinking GDMs for this purpose but it definitely has helped.

  • laura- have you tried the floradix??

  • I had to order it online so I am waiting for it to arrive. So I’m just doing kale and wheatgrass juice each day and eating oranges to boost absorption.

  • Spinach is high in iron. Ten ounces would provide about 70% of the daily needs. You could drink it in a smoothie. Blend with water & a banana for example.

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