Tuesday, July 24, 2012

On The Right Track To A Healthier ME!

A few weeks ago I was hospitalized for severe anemia.  I will not get into all the boring details but I will share with you a few facts about Anemia and Iron and what I have learned.   

Anemia is a decrease in red blood cells or hemoglobin, which also decreases your blood's ability to carry oxygen throughout your body. Those suffering from anemia often feel run down, weak, and "under the weather." Lack of energy prevents them from doing many of the things they want to do, and feeling bad so much of the time can lead to feelings of depression. Thanks to Dealing With Anemia

Anemia can have a profound effect on your daily life. I struggled with Anemia for just one week and it took every last bit of energy I had.  During that week I received 5 units of blood.  I unfortunately cannot give blood due to my health conditions.  I am so grateful to everyone who takes their time and energy to donate blood to help others. 
I know the day I went into the ER I could hardly walk 5 steps on my own.  For me Anemia is not a part of my every day life.  I had a specific health issue that caused me to be so anemic.  To help fight Anemia you must get Iron on board.  As we all know, Iron is needed to help our red blood cells deliver oxygen to the rest of our body.  Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron. 

Time to find out what foods are rich in Iron.  I already knew the obvious ones like liver (yuck) red meats, iron-enriched cereal & grains.  Time to do a little searching and find out what other foods are rich in Iron.  Here is what I found:

* Apples
* Asparagus
* Bananas
* Beets
* Broccoli
* Brown Rice
* Carrots
* Honey
* Lean red meats
* Liver
* Plums
* Potatoes
* Raisins
* Tomatoes and tomato juice
* Whole grain breads, cereals and pastas.
So many of these foods I loved!   I also read that Vitamin C helps your body absorb iron. So, eat foods rich in vitamin C, or have a glass of orange juice with your meals.

After finding which foods I should eat I also learned their are some foods and combinations to stay clear of.   It was not necessary for me to be placed on an iron pill.  I know many people have to take iron pills daily or at certain times in their lives.  I know when I was pregnant I was a little anemic and needed an iron supplement.  Certain foods can decrease your body's ability to absorb iron, which can lead to anemia. There are some things you should avoid, especially right before or after taking iron tablets, or eating meals.
* Try to decrease your consumption of sugar.
* Also try to decrease your consumption of coffee and tea.
* Don't take antacids right before or after taking iron tablets.
* Sometimes, it's not good to eat all of your vegetables. Vegetables like spinach, lentils, and butter beans can interfere with iron absorption. If you're eating a meal rich with iron, avoid those vegetables.

Now that I know which foods are good and bad I thought I needed a few recipes.  I found this delicious recipe from Whole Living.

 Potatoes, Peas and Mint


  • 1 1/4 pounds baby red potatoes
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup chopped mint leaves
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper


  1. Cook potatoes in a pot of boiling water until easily pierced with a fork, 11 to 14 minutes; drain. Halve potatoes. Meanwhile, simmer peas in a saucepan of water until tender, about 4 minutes; drain, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Crush peas with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 2 tablespoons reserved cooking liquid using a fork. Gradually stir in remaining 2 tablespoons cooking liquid until mixture is thick and chunky. Toss potatoes with pea mixture, mint, salt, and some pepper. Drizzle with additional tablespoon oil.

    Sounds super delicious and is full of fiber, vitamin B6, potassium, and Iron!!

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