Back to school today for the second term.
First quarter of the year is completed.
The season of Autumn is becoming more real. Leaves changing colour and falling. Crisper mornings and cooler evenings.
Glorious days with big blue skies. It's a lovely time of year.
So, one of us wrote to me asking if could I write about iron - so here we go -
For me growing up, I lived with my dad, and regularly once I got my period, liver of various origins was served up as an evening meal.
It wasn't really explained to me why we were having liver but since then I've learnt that liver is a good source of iron.
Since it is important to have sufficient iron in the body this was a good meal to have.
What does iron do?
Its #1 job is to bind a haemoglobin molecule to a red blood cell.
Haemoglobin is the carrier of oxygen.
Without enough oxygen your cells will begin to die.
When you don't have enough iron then you can become anaemic.
When you're anaemic your body has less of an ability to carry oxygen in your blood.
As a result you may start to feel tired and have less energy.
Children and menstruating women are more likely to become anaemic.
Children because they may not be eating enough variety – (ask me - that's my two year old. He has a very limited diet).
Women because of menstruating, pregnancy and premenopausal.
Now it is easy to work out whether you are anaemic.
The question is why. There could be a number of reasons –
Before you start supplementing with iron, I would suggest that you have your blood tested.
Having too much iron is as bad for your body as not having enough.
The blood test to have is called Serum Ferritin.
It measures the molecule in your blood that carries iron. If your ferritin levels are low then your iron levels are low.
The healthy range is between 20 to 80 nanograms per millilitre.
Once you know you are low in iron then you can start to boost your stores using food.
There are two types of iron found in food heme and non-heme iron.
Heme iron is found in meat and seafood. These foods are quickly absorbed by the body.
Non-heme foods are plant-based – fruit, vegetables and nuts.
To improve absorption of these non-heme foods choose to eat vitamin C rich foods or supplement with vitamin C.
On the flip side too much iron in the body can cause its own problems.
The best thing to do is to know your numbers.
Ask your doctor for a Serum ferritin test.
Should you need to supplement with iron then choose chelated iron or carbonyl iron or ferrous bisglycinate.
There is also a plant derived supplement called Floradix.
These options are less likely to cause constipation or other intestinal abscess which ferrous sulphate can do.
Vitamin D may also have an effect on your iron levels.
In a study done evaluating blood sampling researchers could show there was a link between vitamin D deficiency and an increased risk of anaemia.
A large percentage of the population is vitamin D deficient.
Vitamin D is linked to so many bodily functions that it stands to reason that by normalising your vitamin D levels your over overall health could improve.
Let's Start Fighting The Common Cold
Hello and welcome!
I’ve just got into the office after attending my older son, J’s, graduation. He’ll be going to Grade 1 next year!!!
We’re experiencing some really weird weather at the moment with snowfalls expected on the Drakensburg Mountains later today.
So with unusual weather going on and the days racing by towards the Grand Finale of the year there is a need to talk about this amazing vitamin…
For as long as I can remember we’ve been told that if you want to prevent or fight a cold then take Vitamin C.
It’s probably the most suggested vitamin to use.
And yet there is much more to what Vitamin C can do for our bodies…
C is for Citrus.
Vitamin C can be found in citrus fruits.
There are other sources in the fruits and vegetable families;
sweet red peppers, kale, dark leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts.
Strawberries, guavas, papaya and persimmons are also great sources.
And YAY it’s strawberry season at the moment so get some next time you’re at the market or shops.
C is also for Collagen.
Vitamin C’s primary function is to make collagen.
It is involved in the formation of connective tissues, tendons and cartilage. As a result it helps in the healing of wounds and burns.
It helps to maintain healthy gums. Bleeding and swollen gums could be a sign of scurvy. Not likely you have scurvy in this day and age unless you are seriously depleted in vitamin C.
Our blood vessels contain collagen in the walls and the walls expand and contract.
The tiny blood vessels and capillaries can be fragile leading to bruising. Having sufficient collagen in the blood vessels can help to lessen this.
Vitamin C is an anti-oxidant, it helps to prevent aging of our body’s tissues.
It fights bacterial and viral infections and that is why it is recommended for fighting the common cold.
It is helpful in treating alcoholic liver disease.
Massive amounts of vitamin C have been used in the treatment of drug addiction – heroin, methadone and barbiturates.
Studies are starting to find that Vitamin C can help to lower the risk of many forms of cancer – digestive tract cancer, lung, cervical, breast and pancreatic cancers.
Vitamin C has also been found to enhance immune function during the treatment of cancer.
How often should you take Vitamin C?
Vitamin C needs to be eaten/taken regularly throughout the day,
2 - 3 times.
This is because blood levels peak at about 2 – 3 hours after being taken.
Most of what is consumed is excreted within 3 – 4 hours.
The body’s ability to absorb vitamin C is affected by a number of factors;
Smoking, stress, high fever and petrol fumes.
Vitamin C is a multifunctional nutrient because of its anti-oxidant and immune enhancing abilities...
It can fight against heart disease by strengthening the blood vessel walls, raising our “good” cholesterol (HDL), reducing blood pressure and preventing blood clots by making the platelets less sticky.
When you have a fever or viral infection or are taking antibiotics, cortisone, aspirin or other pain medication then your body uses more Vitamin C.
Exposure to environmental toxins like petrol fumes and heavy metals like cadmium (cigarette smoke) and lead can reduce the absorption of vitamin C.
So it is important to eat vitamin C supplements regularly throughout the day.
The list of benefits of eating Vitamin C is long.
It helps to build collagen which basically keeps us together.
It supports our adrenal glands and how we handle stress and fatigue
And it supports our our immune function and fighting infections.
The Recommended Daily Allowance for Vitamin C is only 60mg.
Our requirements as humans varies according to a number of factors;
weight, amount of activity we do, metabolism rate, ailments and age.
When we are under stress and anxiety, have an injury or an operation or suffering from fatigue then our need for this vitamin increases.
How much do I take?
I take 1500mg twice per day. In the morning and at bed time.
When I’m fighting a cold then I will double up, 3000mg, or treble up, 4500mg, twice per day.
If you know of another mom who’s looking to bring harmony & health to her life, please share this email with her.
She’ll appreciate it and so will I…
Chat with you soon...