Archive for September 12th, 2011

September 12, 2011

Iron Woman

Who had a good weekend? I did! It wasn’t the best ever, but no weekend is a “bad” weekend. Clemson sure could have played better, but let’s not get into that…

Go Tigers!

I had a relatively healthy Friday, but that went right out the window on Saturday. It could have been much worse, and I don’t feel guilty at all. Kev and I split quesadillas for snack/dinner while watching football, and we split this frozen pizza for a late dinner after the GA vs. USC game.

Beer n' Pizza

I don’t generally like thin pizzas or white pizzas, and this was both. However, we agreed that it was pretty darn good for the price.

Pizza may not be the healthiest option, but you know what is healthy? Iron. (Sweet transition, right?) I purchased lots of spinach, sprouts, salmon, and beef at the store Sunday, so it got me thinking about this vital nutrient.

Women’s Health Magazine said that iron eliminates free radicals from the body “and helps protect against heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.” Iron also strengthens your immune system and keeps your thyroid running smoothly.

Stella Lucia Volpe, PhD, RD, an associate professor of nutrition at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, told Fitness Magazine, “Only heme iron — found in animal foods like beef, lamb, or poultry — is directly absorbed into the body… Vegetable iron isn’t absorbed as efficiently.”

Spinach Salad (Only Part of Dinner)

No matter your diet (carnivore, flexitarian, or vegetarian/vegan), you can boost absorption by consuming iron-rich foods along with Vitamin C. According to Fitness Magazine, calcium interferes with iron absorption. I guess fortified cereal doesn’t help so much with milk!

We should get 18 milligrams of iron per day, but that can be difficult – especially on a plant based diet. Up to 62 percent of women fail to meet the recommended minimum.

To check the iron levels in common foods, check out these handy lists from FitSugar and WebMD. A few of the listed entries are:

  • Half a cup of cooked chickpeas = 3.4 mg
  • Half a cup of steamed kale = 2 mg
  • 3 oz of steak = 4 mg
How was your weekend? Did you catch any great football games? Do you keep track of your iron intake?
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