Advantages of Iron
By Dr. Madhavi Gupta, M.D.
Iron attaches to red blood cells and brings oxygen to the body and the brain. Without it, the brain doesn’t get enough oxygen to make energy.
Proper iron levels play an important role in red blood cell production, boosting energy, and supporting attention span.
Iron deficiency rates are highest for young women, infants, and children under the age of two years old.
Common Symptoms of Iron Deficiency
- Fast or irregular heartbeat
- Brittle nails
- Poor concentration
- Weakened immune system
- Leaky gut or IBS
Advantages of Iron
- Red blood cell production
- Boosts energy
- Supports attention span
Numerous human studies have shown the negative effects of iron deficiency during the first years of life is particularly concerning (1).
A report published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences discusses that even healthy young adults can have variations in brain structure integrity in correlation with variations in iron levels (2).
The best way to make sure you’re not lacking in this key nutrient is to eat adequate amounts of iron-rich foods each and every day. What foods have iron? I’m about to reveal my top healthy iron-rich foods, including meat, fish, beans, nuts, vegetables and even some fruit.
Top 10 Iron-Rich Foods
1. Spirulina: 1 ounce: 8 milligrams of iron (44% DV)
2. Liver: 3 ounces of organic beef liver: 4.05 milligrams of iron (22.5% DV
3. Grass-Fed Beef: 1 lean grass-fed strip steak (214 grams): 4 milligrams of iron (22% DV)
4. Lentils: ½ cup: 3.3 milligrams of iron (20.4% DV)
5. Dark Chocolate: 1 ounce: 3.3 milligrams iron (19% DV)
6. Spinach: ½ cup cooked: 3.2 milligrams (17.8% DV)
7. Sardines: ¼ cup: 1.8 milligrams (10% DV)
8. Black Beans: ½ cup: 1.8 milligrams (10% DV)
9. Pistachios: 1 ounce: 1.1 milligrams (6.1% DV)
10. Raisins: ¼ cup: 1.1 milligrams (6.1% DV)
If food sources are not enough and/or you need extra supplementation, Best Nest Wellness makes a Hello Vitality Liquid Iron for both children and adults. It absorbs quickly and delivers 15 mg of highly bioavailable iron per dropper. Plus, it’s chocolate flavored, to provide energy in the most wonderful way.
The checklist below is an important initial check for your doctor to run to help determine where any problems might lie. That way, you and your healthcare team can work quickly to address any health issues before they possibly do permanent damage to your brain.
▢ Complete Blood Count
▢ Basic Metabolic Panel
▢ Iron (Ferritin) Level
▢ Thyroid Function Studies
▢ MTHFR Genetic Testing
▢ Vitamin D Level
Please take this checklist to your doctor and have him/her run these tests, especially if you haven't had them within a year after your last pregnancy. MTHFR genetic testing only needs to be done once in your lifetime.