I don’t know about you, but at certain times of the month, my energy levels aren’t as high as usual and I notice an increase in my appetite. This might have something to do with my iron levels.
Did you know that women need 14.8 milligrams of iron every day? We need to watch our iron levels particularly as we lose a significant amount of blood during menstruation. When our iron levels are running low we can experience fatigue, moodiness and mental fog.
The latest National Diet & Nutrition Survey which was published in 2016, revealed that 48% of girls and 27% of women have low iron intakes, below the national dietary reference intake. Worryingly this can put us at risk of iron deficiency anaemia. Symptoms of which include shortness of breath, heart palpitations and feeling extremely tired. If you have any of these symptoms ask your GP for a blood test to check your iron levels.
So How Can You Up Your Iron Intake?
You don’t need to just gorge on steak. If you are vegetarian or vegan, you can still get your iron intake from green leafy vegetables, pulses and dried fruits. However the non-haem iron found in these products is not as well absorbed by our bodies. You are therefore advised to eat foods with vitamin C alongside foods that contain iron, for example iron-fortified breakfast cereals topped with raspberries or oranges.
What to eat?
- Boiled Asparagus
- Steamed spinach
- Steamed curly kale
- Steamed leeks (my fave at the mo)
- Baked beans
So if you are feeling a bit fatigued particularly around your time of the month, perhaps a slight diet change might help. Let me know your thoughts.