A lack of iron saps your strength: You are pale and exhausted, and your hair falls out more often. There are several ways to compensate for an iron deficiency. But be careful with iron supplements! Here you can find out what is important.
Iron deficiency is an issue for many women. Because the trace element is quickly depleted by a low-iron or vegetarian diet, heavy menstrual bleeding, or pregnancy. The first signs are tiredness, paleness, and lack of concentration. It is not always easy to compensate for an iron deficiency. Because many preparations lead to nausea, and stomach problems or remain ineffective. We clarify the most important facts about iron supplementation. But before you take pills, have your doctor check your iron status.
How much iron do you need in a day?
Iron is an important trace element. It binds oxygen in the red blood cells. In this way, oxygen is transported through the blood and provides us with energy. However, the body cannot produce iron itself. It has to be supplied from the outside. Women should consume at least 15 mg daily.
The best iron supplements to compensate for an iron deficiency
Once an iron deficiency has been identified, it can be compensated for with iron supplements. Replenishing the iron stores in the body takes at least twelve weeks. When choosing iron supplements, pay attention to products that contain salts of divalent iron – recognizable by the Roman two in the name. This form of iron is more readily available and is therefore preferentially absorbed in the small intestine. The tablets or capsules should also only dissolve in the small intestine and be well tolerated. The active ingredient iron(II) sulfate is recommended. In the case of a slight deficiency, herbal blood juice (health food store) is also suitable. If the deficiency is severe, the doctor can administer infusions – but then with trivalent iron.
The right time for iron supplements
Iron supplements work best when taken on an empty stomach, which is in the morning before breakfast. However, this often leads to stomach problems. Test the compatibility for yourself. Otherwise, you can also take the funds one to two hours after a meal.
Some foods rob the ingested iron. These include red wine, coffee, black tea, and milk. Wait for one to two hours after taking iron before eating these foods.
Compensate for iron deficiency with these foods
An iron deficiency can also be partially compensated for by iron-rich foods. Meat and offal such as pork or beef liver are particularly rich in iron. There is also a lot of iron in whole grain products and legumes such as lentils and beans. However, the body absorbs animal iron better than plant-based iron. Substances such as phytin in grain make absorption in the small intestine more difficult. Vitamin C, on the other hand, promotes iron absorption. Therefore, it is ideal to combine iron-rich meals with vitamin-rich vegetables such as peppers and broccoli. Or you can drink a glass of orange juice with it. In this way, the body absorbs more iron.