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Question
Posted by: AP | 2004/10/15

NO IRON

What causes one not to have iron in the blood? I eat lots of meat and have spinach at least once a week. I am now on tablets to increase my iron levels. What foods would you recommend?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear AP
Iron is a relatively difficult mineral to absorb and it is mainly fully available from foods derived from animals such as red meat, liver, fish, and egg yolk. Plant sources such as spinach are bound by chemicals and this iron is not fully available. You also need folic acid and vitamin C to absorb iron well. If you use iron-fortified breakfast cereals (check on the labels) and drink a glass of orange juice (high in vit C) with your breakfast, then you will absorb this iron in the cereals more efficiently. You may have a high requirement for iron (if you are female then heavy menstrual bleeding will increase your requirement) and even though you eat meat, this may not be sufficient. The dr will have prescribed iron tablets which you need to take for quite a long time as it takes 3 or more months to replenish body iron stores.
Best regards
DietDoc

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