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Beetroot dip High in Lemon

Don’t let low iron get your teenager down

Don’t let low iron get your teenager down

The most common complaints I used to see in clinic from teenage girls was fatigue, heavy or
irregular periods, moodiness and/or poor concentration. They said they just didn’t feel like
themselves anymore. Although this is part of being a teenager, it can feel a lot worse if they have low iron levels.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says iron deficiency is the most common mineral deficiency in
the world.

There are several factors that could contribute to this:

1. A diet low in iron-rich foods or an unbalanced vegetarian/vegan diet
2. Heavy periods due to hormonal issues
3. Gluten sensitivity/coeliac stopping the absorption of iron through the small intestine.

So how do you know if you’re iron deficient?

The best way to test iron levels is to have an iron studies blood test at your doctor. some of the
physical signs to look for are pale skin, dark circles under the eyes, spoon nails (soft nails that look
scooped out) and pale sclera (the white outer layer of the eyeball).
Iron is vital for carrying oxygen from your lungs to the other cells in your body so when iron levels
drop, girls can start to feel exhausted and moody. They can struggle with concentration and playing
sports, their hair can fall out or they could experience heavy periods, heart palpitations and anxiety.

Fortify your diet to boost iron levels.

A diet low in iron-rich foods is often the cause of the milder symptoms, so adding a better balance,
and a good variety of foods is the logical step. Iron is best absorbed with Vitamin C, which can be as
easy as squeezing a little lemon juice over your vegetables.

Try adding these iron-rich foods to your diet:

  1. Pumpkin Seeds, Dark Chocolate, Liver and organ meats
  2. Sardines, Dates, Lentils, Grass-fed beef
  3. Blackstrap molasses, Silverbeet Beetroot, Beetroot leaves
  4. Parsley, Cumin, Turmeric, Bok Choy
  5. Asparagus, Leeks, Soybeans, Sesame seeds
  6. Chickpeas, Lima beans, Olives Kidney, Black beans
  7. Brussel Sprouts, Kale, Broccoli, Spinach

And don’t forget to check out our blog for some easy recipe ideas.

What about iron supplements?

If you need more than what a spinach salad can deliver, iron in the form of Ferrous Sulfate is often
prescribed but may cause constipation. However, there are plenty of liquid iron supplements on the
market that are well absorbed without the unpleasant side effects.

The main thing is to find out what the underlying cause of low iron is.

  •  If it’s diet, then introduce more iron-rich foods into your meals.
  •  If your periods are heavy, then it’s a good idea to check hormone levels. In fact, low iron is
    often the cause of heavy periods.
  •  If you suspect a gluten sensitivity or coeliac, get your doctor to test for it

It’s important to have a blood test before taking any supplements as too much iron can also cause
problems.  We have also formulated this special blend Chill Out for Girls to help them with issues such as all those hormones, peer pressure and the rollercoaster of emotions that can derail daily activities. Teenage girls have enough going on without the negative effects of low iron levels. All it takes is a few questions, adjustments and tests if needed.

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