Iron deficiency is almost synonymous with anemia since this disorder is the key symptom of low iron levels in the body. Other symptoms include brittle hair, digestive issues, dizziness, fatigue, spoon shaped nails or nails that contain ridges that run length-ways. If you are experiencing any, or all, of these symptoms, then it is important to see your physician as soon as possible to determine the exact cause. For those who suspect they have anemia, then determining the exact cause is also important. Even though inadequate iron in the body is the main cause of this disorder, it can be caused in other ways, folic acid and vitamin b12 deficiency can lead to anemia.
There are two key types of iron, heme iron and non-heme iron. Heme iron is only found in animal products such as eggs, liver, fish, meat and poultry. Non-heme iron is also found in animal foods, but is the only type that comes from plant sources. Since heme iron is more easily absorbed into the blood stream than non-heme iron (around 2 to 3 times as much), then animal products are essentially the better choice for treating iron deficiency and its related disorders. However, some plant sources, such as most dark leafy green are an excellent source of non-heme iron and a great option for strict vegetarians, vegans, and anyone wanting to get extra iron generally.
Juicing for Iron
While most leafy greens are a great source of non-heme iron, spinach is one exception. Spinach is much lower in iron content that other leafy greens, and more importantly it contains substances that actually interfere with iron absorption in the stomach. So spinach should really be avoided all together. Those leafy greens highest in iron include swiss chard, kale, bok choy, amaranth leaves. Beets are also a great source of iron and a great way to help sweeten the bitter juice of leafy greens. Stirring spirulina into our juices is also a great idea, since this is one of the richest plant sources of iron.
|Vegetable||Amount of iron per cup|
|Spirulina (dried)||2.24 mg|
|Swiss Chard||0.58 mg|
|Bok Choy||0.29 mg|
Consuming vitamin C with iron rich foods is a very good idea, since it increases iron absorption by 30%. This is to our advantage when juicing for iron because all vegetables and fruits contain vitamin C to some degree or another, and leafy greens are a great source of vitamin C.
Juicer Recipes for Iron
#1 – Beetsy Greens
1 handful of kale
1 handful of bok choy
#2 – Applesy Greens
1 handful of amaranth leaves
1 handful of bok choy
With both of the above recipes – any of the leafy greens can be swapped out for another of the leafy greens in the chart above. Greens are not the tastiest things when juiced, which is why the apples and beets are used, so experiment a little to find which greens work best for you should you find one is too unpalatable
To Your Health