Paleo Primal Fatty Acids Omega 3 Omega 6 Ratio fish-min

Omega 3 and Omega 6 – How’s Your Ratio?

Omega 3 and 6 (Sometimes referred to as N3 and N6) are spoken about a lot with reference to the Paleo diet – but just what are they – and how can you make sure you are getting the right ratio?

Omega 3 is a fatty acid which is essential in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle and reduce the risk of suffering from any chronic illnesses, such as cardiovascular and mental disease. There has been overwhelming research which has concluded that Omega 3 can help to reduce blood pressure, inflammation and can be beneficial in preventing mental illnesses such as depression. Omega 3 may not only prevent these illnesses but can also help to reduce the chances of these developing and becoming more serious.

Whilst Omega 6 has health benefits too, this fatty acid is required in far lower quantities, or it becomes detrimental.

The introduction of these fatty acids can be beneficial for people who suffer from illnesses such as arthritis as they are thought to act as an anti-inflammatory. These two fatty acids should be combined at the right ratio within the diet in order to improve health and well-being.

As the Paleo diet encourages the consumption of plenty of fish and seafood, it can really help those who follow the diet to eat a high amount of Omega 3. It is highly important within the diet to get the ratio of Omega 3 and Omega 6 right, as a good balance is an essential way to ensure these are providing the best possible benefits. It appears that by getting the ratios wrong and eating too much of the Omega 6 and too little Omega 3 can actually result in a negative effect on health.

Paleo Primal Fatty Acids Omega 3 Omega 6 Ratio fish-min

The ratio should be around 2:1 for Omega 3: Omega 6 but many people consume far too much of Omega 6, which can be detrimental to the body. Omega 6 is found in abundance with sugar and processed foods, but is also found in nuts and butters but in much lower quantities. Clearly when following a SAD diet, laden with these processed foods, it is very easy for the N3:N6 ratio to skew heavily in favour of Omega 6. Not good. Whilst a Paleo diet is naturally going to promote a healthier ratio of these fatty acids, it is no “guaranteed”, so it is important to monitor the fats you are eating to ensure the ratio remains healthy.

There are ways to improve the ratio of both of these fatty acids, by eating foods which have a good balance between the two. Free range eggs and grass-fed meat offer a balance between both, which means they are very beneficial in improving overall health. Mono-unsaturated and saturated fats such as olive oil and coconut oil which are keenly consumed within the Paleo diet also provide a good source for both of these fatty acids and will help to keep the ratio at the proper level. You can also buy free range (often organic) eggs, which are high in Omega 3 (as the hens are fed a diet rich in these fatty acids)

We have been encouraged for some time to increase our consumption of fresh fish and seafood as they offer a wealth of benefits to the body and the main reason for this is the fact that these are rich in Omega-3. As a powerful antioxidant, Omega-3 is essential to have as part of a healthy lifestyle.

Do you monitor your Omega 3/ Omega 6 ratio? What do you do to ensure the ratios remain at a good level?

The Paleo Diet Serotonin Depression-min

Serotonin & The Paleo Diet

We have probably all heard the word serotonin, but usually in relation to going to the gym or doing another form of exercise. It is true to say that exercise boots serotonin levels in the brain, which is why we feel better after a workout, even if it was a bit of a struggle to get there. Serotonin is what is often referred to as the feel good transmitter as it plays a huge part in how happy we feel and if the levels of serotonin in our brain are too low, it can often lead to depression.

Depression is the result of an imbalance of hormones and exists when the neurological system is not functioning as it should be. There are many people who also believe that depression is related to inflammation in the body, which can also cause other illnesses. There is a strong relation between the body and the mind, which is why we need to take care of our bodies, in order to feel balanced and happy in the mind.

Depression can really take over a persons’ life and stop them enjoying important stages of their lives. It is a type of mental illness which can cause the sufferer to become suppressed and even stop going out completely. There are many people who turn to their doctors when they feel themselves becoming depressed and the answer is often a bottle of anti-depressants. These may help in the short term but they can be addictive, so much so that the user may not be able to come off them. It is important to realise the connection between body and mind and take care of our diets as a way of ensuring we don’t suffer from depression.

The Paleo Diet Serotonin Depression-min

As the Paleo diet involves eating the right balance of foods which reduce inflammation and lift serotonin levels, it can be hugely effective in combating an illness such as depression. A diet which is rich in Omega 3 is thought to be a way of reducing and fighting depression as it contains lots of anti-oxidants which help us to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The oil in fish is a natural method of combating depression and can be found in lots of tasty foods such as salmon, tuna and seafood.

It is important to eat foods which reduce inflammation in the body as this is thought to increase our chances of suffering from mental illnesses such as depression. The Paleo diet is a way to achieve this by stocking up on vegetables, fruit and fish and staying away from candy and crisps. Inflammation is not only significant in the effects on the brain but it can also increase the likelihood of suffering from other serious illnesses such as cancer and diabetes.

Foods which contain high levels of protein can also be beneficial in lifting our moods, as they contain amino acids which are known to improve our neurotransmitters. The proper functioning of the neurotransmitters is the way to maintain a healthy mind and as a result, a healthy body.

In order to raise our serotonin levels and ensure we feel healthier from the inside to the outside, we need to look at the natural way of achieving this, rather than reaching for tablets. A healthy diet, together with a combination of exercise, can go a long way to helping us to feel healthier and happier for the rest of our lives. We can change our diet to incorporate healthier food groups, such as meat, fish, vegetables and fruit, at any stage of our lives and it will still have a huge effect on our health.

It is not a case of depriving yourself when following the Paleo diet; it is a method of eating lots of all of the right foods which are natural enhancers of serotonin levels, as well as helping us to achieve a healthy weight. Food plays a huge part in our lives and as such, it is essential to get it right.

Low Protein High Protein paleo macronutrient ratios-min

Low Protein? High Protein?

In case you didn’t already know, dietary protein is essential for human health. Protein is used in the body to build and maintain new tissue such as muscle, hair, nails, skin, bone and blood cells. It is also required to create the enzymes for the body to carry out certain processes, such as the digestion of food; and neurotransmitters, which control your ability to carry out basic tasks (like thought and movement). US dietary guidelines recommend a daily intake of 45g per day for females, and 55g per day for males. In reality, you need much more to maintain optimum health, especially if you’re active. But just how much should you be taking in? And is it possible to consume too much?

Put simply, the amount of protein you need is unique to each individual. For a sedentary person, Many sources recommend around 1g of protein per kilo of bodyweight as a realistic amount needed to maintain lean mass. If you’re more active, you’ll be looking at around 1.5g – and if you’re lifting (and looking to increase lean muscle mass), between 1.8g and 2.0g per kilo of bodyweight is optimal. For example, a 70kg man training three times per week and looking to increase his muscle mass should be targeting between 130g and 140g of protein per day. That’s the equivalent of around 3 eggs, one chicken breast, a handful of almonds and one sirloin steak – so is by no means reaching into the realms of ‘forced’ protein.

Low Protein High Protein paleo macronutrient ratios-min

Indeed, if protein forms the majority of your caloric intake, then you’re probably consuming too much. Fat should be your main source of energy, with between 15 and 25% coming from protein. Too much protein can create excess toxins in the body, and put a significant strain on the liver and heart. Not ideal.

Chances are, your Paleo diet already features a respectable amount of protein and you’ll probably be achieving your protein ‘target’ without even knowing it. Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds are all good sources of this macro-nutrient. Amino acids, the building blocks of protein, are found in plants as well – albeit in various quantities. If a food contains all of the ‘essential’ amino acids, then this food is considered a ‘complete’ protein. As plant protein sources are normally lacking in at least one of the essential amino acids, they are usually considered as ‘incomplete’ protein. This is one of the reasons it is hard for vegans to consume adequate protein, and leads to them having to selectively combine foods to achieve a complete amino acid profile.

To conclude, it is probably much better you focus on the quality of the protein you are taking in rather than the quantity. Don’t worry too much about hitting a ‘target amount’ – simply build each meal around a high quality protein source like red meat, poultry, fish or eggs. Consume extra if you’re active, especially on training days. But don’t stress yourself out about it; you’re much more likely to be getting a solid amount of protein each day simply by eating real foods.

Paleo Diet Primal Is Your Deodorant Toxic Antiperspirant spray-min

Is Your Deodorant Toxic?

When you put so much care and effort into your Paleo nutrition and fitness, are you equally aware of the health and beauty products you use, like your deodorant?

Deodorant and antiperspirant are something most people use – and apply directly onto their skin every day, but is commercial deodorant safe?

Shop brought deodorants often contain parabens – a chemical that has been associated with cancers. Deodorants often also contain aluminium, which is used to stop perspiration – but has been linked to dementia, brain disorders and breast cancer.

It is also common for deodorants to contain alcohol, which can be drying for some skin types.
While aluminium free and paraben free deodorants are available, these can still come with added alcohols or other chemicals that could build up in the body. There are many natural deodorants available, for example made from crystal stones. However – you could make your own natural alternative!

Deodorant For Women

Ingredients:

  • Five teaspoons of distilled witch hazel
  • 5mls (0.17 fluid ounces) of vitamin E oil
  • 10 – 20 drops of geranium essential oil
  • 10 – 20 drops of ylang ylang essential oil
  • 5 drops of clary sage
  • One small spritzer bottle

Directions:

Add the witch hazel into a small mixing bowl and then add in the vitamin E oil and blend it together using the end of a pipette, a teaspoon, or a small wooden spatula.

Next add the essential oils and remember to build them gradually until you have the desired scent. Once ready, pour into the spritzer body and use when need. This can be stored in the fridge for a cooling effect.

Deodorant for Men

Ingredients:

  • 5 teaspoons of distilled witch hazel
  • 10 – 20 drops of sandalwood essential oil
  • 10 – 20 drops of pine essential oil
  • 5mls (0.17 fluid ounces) of vitamin E oil
  • One small spritzer bottle

Follow the directions for the deodorant for women.

If preferred, just use the sandalwood essential oil on its own.

Solid Deodorant

Warning: Take care when heating and pouring the cocoa butter to ensure it doesn’t get on your hands as it will be extremely hot.

Ingredients:

  • 30g (1.05 ounce) of cocoa butter or shea butter
  • Essential oils as listed in the above recipes
  • 5mls of vitamin E oil
  • Square soap mould or massage bar mould

Directions:

Melt the butter in a saucepan by lightly heating it on a hob or in a microwave oven until melted.

Stir in the vitamin E oil and then added in the essential oils.

Pour the mix into soap or massage bar mould. For a smooth bar, use a soap mould.

Leave the bar to cool overnight and it will be ready to use the next morning.

Bicarbonate of soda can also be used for a simple, effective deodorant.

Note: Pregnant women should take advice before using essential oils.

Do you use commercial deodorant or antiperspirant – or perhaps you go without entirely? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this – and whether you’d try making a natural alternative – in the comments below.

Paleo Diet Primal Is Your Deodorant Toxic Antiperspirant spray-min

Paleo Diet Primal Olive Oil Extra Virgin Fake Test Quality Label-min

Are You Using Fake Olive Oil?

Olive oil is one of the healthier oils around, because it’s full of nutrients and antioxidants. Using high quality ‘extra virgin’ olive oil is pretty standard on a Paleo diet. But just how good is the olive oil in your kitchen?

Apparently some olive oils are not all they seem…

Olive oil comes in different categories: ‘Extra virgin’, ‘virgin’, ‘fine virgin’, (normal) ‘olive oil’ and ‘pomace’. ‘Extra virgin’ is the label put on an oil containing less than 1% acid.

Recent research from the Olive Institute (University of California in Davis) revealed that more than half of the olive oils presently on the market are bad quality. Often, despite what they label says, it is not always ‘extra virgin’ olive oil and is sometimes mixed with cheaper oils like hazelnut oils or even soybean oil! Sometimes the oil can be made from overripe and rotting olives. This olive oil does not have any nutritional or health benefits and can even be harmful…

Olives are fruits, making it a very unique oil. Olives are drupaceous (stone fruits), like prunes and cherries. The oil is made with a simple hydraulic press, much like the one we use for fruit juices. This in contrast to the “vegetable” oils, which are made in a refinery with the use of solvents, heat and high pressure – not very natural!

Paleo Diet Primal Olive Oil Extra Virgin Fake Test Quality Label-min

Olive oil is made gently which is why it keeps the ‘extra virgin’ quality, full of antioxidants in the forms of polyphenols and sterols, and vitamins E and K. Olive oil contains large quantities of CoQ10, an antioxidant which is very effective in protecting our heart and fighting chronic inflammations.

Choosing a Good Quality Olive Oil

It’s really important to make sure the olive oil you use is good quality – and really is what it says it is only the label. There are a few ways you can get more certainty about the olive oil you buy:

  • Develop a taste for olive oil. There are course and tasting session run, which will help you get a feel for what it should taste like. This will help you identify if the oil you purchase is a good one.
  • Buy only brands that are certified by trustworthy organisations.
  • If possible, buy directly from the olive growers and producers.
  • You might have heard about the refrigerator test: when you put olive oil in the fridge, it should solidify. If it doesn’t solidify, you could be dealing with a mixture of oils. BUT! This test is not 100% trustworthy, as some very high quality olive oils will not solidify.

If you’re not happy with some olive oil that you’ve purchased – return it – and try another brand.

How do you choose a good olive oil and what do you use it for? Do you have any brands, which you’d recommend? Please share your olive oil hints and tips in the comments below!

25 Reasons You Should Get More Herbs In Your Diet paleo primal health nutrition-min

25 Reasons You Should Get More Herbs In Your Diet

Instead of using herbs just to add flavour and colour to your cooking, do you ever add them for their medicinal benefits? Since ancient times herbs have been used as medicine in cultures all around the world.  Many modern medicines use active ingredients which come directly from plants – so there’s clearly a lot to be gained from plant medicine.

25 Reasons You Should Get More Herbs In Your Diet paleo primal health nutrition-min

Here are 25 herbs that you probably have in your kitchen – and what they are claimed to be beneficial for.

  1. Basil: full of minerals and a natural antioxidant
  2. Black pepper: anti bacterial, antioxidant and helps to stimulates digestion
  3. Cardamom: fresh breath
  4. Cayenne pepper: antibacterial, rich in beta carotene (pre cursor to vitamin A), reduces pain and helps stimulates metabolism
  5. Celery: stimulates the appetite, diuretic, detoxifing, helps with constipation, relieves rheumatism, helps with kidney stones and eases arthritis symptoms
  6. Chili pepper: rich in vitamin C, anti-inflammatory and natural antioxidant
  7. Cinnamon: regulates blood sugar levels, powerful antioxidant, regulates cholesterol metabolism and promotes good circulation
  8. Clove: powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and mildly anesthetic
  9. Coriander: rich in iron and magnesium, prevents gas, prevents urinary infections, regulates blood sugar level and a natural detoxifier of heavy metals
  10. Dill: anti bacterial, antioxidant and contains a lot of iron
  11. Fenugreek: relieves constipation and said to stimulate muscle growth
  12. Ginger: antiseptic, calms the stomach, anti-inflammatory and an effective natural remedy for motion sickness
  13. Ginkgo biloba: stimulates the circulation, anti-aging and improves memory
  14. Garlic: anti bacterial, anti-viral, lowers blood pressure and has natural antibiotic properties
  15. Mint: rich in vitamin C, calms the stomach and intestines and relieves headaches naturally
  16. Mustard seed: rich in selenium, omega-3, phosphorus, vitamin B3 and zinc, helps against cancer and is a natural anti-inflammatory
  17. Nutmeg: anti-inflammatory and helps to regulates sleep
  18. Oregano: anti bacterial, strong antioxidant and useful as preservative
  19. Paprika powder: anti-inflammatory and a natural antioxidant
  20. Parsley: detoxifies, helps with kidney stones and a natural antispasmodic
  21. Pepper: contains a lot of capsaicin (the ingredient that ensure the ‘heat’), clears stuffy noses, relieves pain and said to be beneficial for prostate cancer
  22. Rosemary: keeps the genes young, strengthens the immune system, improves the circulation and stimulates digestion
  23. Sage: improves the memory, anti-inflammatory and a strong natural antioxidant
  24. Thyme: antiseptic and a natural anti bacterial
  25. Turmeric: often called Curcuma, yellow root or curcumine. Very strong antioxidant, is said have a role in cancer prevention, help with skin infections, anti-inflammatory and relieves arthritis symptoms.

Which herbs do you use in your cooking? Have you ever used plants and herbs for health reasons? Was it successful? I’d love to hear your experiences and thoughts in the comments below! And please remember – seek medical advice before using herbs for medicinal purposes!

Are you deficient in zinc signs symptoms paleo diet-min

12 Signs You May Be Deficient in Zinc

Zinc is a crucial mineral that is found in every cell in the body. It’s involved with growth, cell division, the immune system, bones and teeth, skin, the brain, the nervous system not to mention hormones – and yet over a third of people appear to be deficient in the Western world!

12 signs you may be deficient in zinc

  1. White spots or lines on your fingernails
  2. Pale skin
  3. Stretch marks
  4. Acne
  5. Dry hair
  6. Loss of appetite
  7. Poor immune system
  8. Diarrhoea
  9. Low sex drive
  10. Weight loss
  11. Loss of taste and sense of smell
  12. Insomnia

So if you’re suffering from sleep issues, frequent infections, eczema, psoriasis, frequent diarrhoea, hair loss, low sex drive or infertility – perhaps it’s worth checking your zinc levels? Those deficient in zinc may also find their sense of taste and smell affected, which isn’t great when you want to explore lots of new foods on your Paleo diet!

How to get more zinc in your diet

There are lots of great natural, Paleo food sources of zinc. Oysters are one of the best sources, but red meat and seafood (especially crab) will also keep your zinc levels topped up. Of course, supplementing is always an option, but always try to get sufficient levels from natural food sources first. Also, don’t forget about vitamin D, as being deficient in vitamin D makes zinc less effective. It’s all about balance, as so many vitamins and minerals work together.

Several things can inhibit your bodies ability to absorb zinc, particularly phytates found in grains and legumes – yet another reason to stick to a Paleo diet and avoid processed neolithic foods!
Paleo Primal Zinc Supplement
Have you had your zinc levels checked? How did they fair? Do you eat lots of natural food sources of zinc, or do you supplement?

Are you deficient in zinc signs symptoms paleo diet-min

Gout and the paleo diet health nutrition-min

Gout & The Paleo Diet

A common form of arthritis, Gout is a condition which can cause a lot of pain to sufferers and can have a highly negative effect on a person’s standard of life. It can be apparent in any joints of the body but is most widely found in the toe, knee and ankle. The signs of Gout are obvious as the area may become red in appearance and can be sore to tough or feel really stiff. It may be restricted to one joint in the body or may spread to other areas; Gout is an unpleasant condition in both the way it looks and feels. It can be mild or more serious and can even lead to the most simple of tasks being an uphill struggle.

The pain of Gout may disappear of its own accord after a couple of weeks, but it can return in the same area or other parts of the body. The areas where Gout appeared can become sore and red out with the attacks of Gout and it is more likely that those who suffer from Gout will also end up with kidney stones. If an area of the body become red, hot and sore, it is likely that this is an attack of Gout and it is important to seek medical attention and treatment, so it is dealt with quickly.

It is believed that Gout is caused by high levels of sugar in the body as this leads to high levels of Uric Acid in the blood stream. The best way to decrease these levels is to avoid food which has high levels of sugar. As with all forms of arthritis, it is important to look closely at the diet and make changes towards a healthier lifestyle in order to reduce the symptoms and prevent the Gout from becoming a major problem. It is much safer and more effective to concentrate on a healthy diet and lifestyle than to turn to strong painkillers and anti-inflammatory tablets as a way of combating the illness. These may only help for a short period of time and won’t really get to the root of the problem.

Gout and the paleo diet health nutrition-min

As the Paleo diet is one which restricts the intake of sugary foods in favour of those which are high in protein and vitamins, it is believed that it can help to prevent Gout or reduce the signs for those who already suffer from the condition. The uric acid has to be restricted and this can be achieved with a healthy choice of foods, including animal fat which has a positive effect on the body.

It is also thought that a diet which is low in carbohydrates, as can be the case with the Paleo diet, can be a much healthier option to minimise the risk of suffering from Gout and other painful diseases. Carbohydrates are high in sugar, which is the main cause of Gout and by restricting this food group; there is a good chance of minimising the likelihood of suffering from the painful illness.

A diet which is very low in sugar is the best way to reduce the chances of suffering from Gout or minimise the symptoms for those who already suffer from the condition. A combination of the right foods and daily exercise will ensure that the risks of suffering from Gout and other illnesses are kept to a minimum.

Do you, or have you, suffered from Gout? How did changing your diet impact it?

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CLA & The Paleo Diet

Concluding my focus on common deficiencies, this week turns to CLA.

CLA stands for Conjugated Linoleic Acid and is the good trans-fat that occurs naturally in dairy and meat products – especially when animals have been grass-fed, another plus for the Paleo diet. In the stomach of animals such as the goat, sheep or cows millions and millions of tiny pieces of bacteria help the animal to digest its food. They also help to covert dietary linoleic fatty acids into saturated fatty acids. While this conversion takes time and several steps, one of those steps is to create CLA, some of this never actually gets fully saturated and will show up instead in the animals milk fat and body.

CLA paleo diet Conjugated Linoleic Acid-min

28 different CLA isomers – or structural arrangements of the molecules show in CLA rich animal fat.  This is very complex and different from the trans-fats created by partially hydrogenating vegetable oils. It is those lab created trans-fats that have a negative metabolic and health effect, while the CLA isomers you get from grass fed dairy and meat is more beneficial.

CLA has been touted as the “belly busting” trans fat with research in 2007 showing that in rats, supplementing their diets with CLA did not cause them to lose whole body fat, but it was found they became more insulin sensitive. When it came to supplementing CLA in mice diets it did cause rapid weight loss, but the increase in hepatic fat accumulation left the mice insulin resistant.

Many people have taken CLA as a supplement and it did seem to work for weight loss, but while the weight loss was good, at the moment we are not really sure what else it does to the body. Research into this further on different animals may help us better understand if there are any additional effects on humans. Are we more like mice or rats?
Primal Diet Supplement Vitamin Mineral Deficiency
The one thing that these studies did show was that hepatic fat accumulation or loss and body fat accumulation or loss is not always in the same direction. We are seeing hepatic fat loss but no weight loss and hepatic fat gain with rapid weight loss. Those who follow low carb diets insisting that this metabolic advantage allows them to eat thousands of calories and lose weight will love the little mouse’s result! While the study on the mouse is quite well known amongst those in the carb circle with the mouse eating as much as it wants without losing or gaining weight, this metabolism does come at a price – profound liver damage.

Tests were carried out to see what effect dietary supplements of CLA would have on the body mass index, and body fat distribution. 40 volunteers participated in a 12 week double blind study some received a CLA while other received olive oil. Body fat and abdominal and hepatic fat content was assessed with an overall finding that showed CLA supplements did not show any significant change in the volunteers BMI index or in their total body fat.

Have you considered supplementing with CLA? If you have, did it have good results for you? I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments, below.

Do You Get Enough Iron In Your paleo diet primal sources deficiency supplement symptoms-min

Do You Get Enough Iron In Your Diet?

Have you had your iron levels checked? Women especially need to be careful to ensure their diet contains sufficient levels, as deficiency can be dangerous.

What Does Iron Do?

As part of hemoglobin, iron plays an important role in the transport of oxygen around the body from the lungs to the other organs. It is also part of the process to produce new blood cells within the body and helps to remove carbon dioxide from the organs.

As well as these important functions, it helps to convert blood sugar to energy and is essential for the production of enzymes within the digestive system. Iron also plays an important role in the immune system and the recovery process after illness or strenuous exercise.

Food Sources of Iron

Most red meats are very good sources of iron particularly beef and lamb. However, the best meat to boost your supply is liver. A 100g serving of liver will provide over 100% of your recommended daily amount of the important dietary nutrient.

Mollusks are another great source of iron, with even higher concentrations than liver. You have a choice of several tasty mollusks, including:

  • Clams
  • Mussels
  • Oysters
  • Shrimp
  • Cuttlefish
  • Octopus
  • Do You Get Enough Iron In Your paleo diet primal sources deficiency supplement symptoms-min

Animals are not the only good sources of iron. Plenty of dark leafy vegetables contain good quantities of this important element. Spinach is the best, with 100g providing 20% of your daily value. Swiss chard, turnip greens and kale are other vegetables that can help to boost your iron levels.

Another source that is easy to overlook is dark chocolate. Nuts and pumpkin seeds are also great sources of iron, and make tasty snacks. You can use these to beat your chocolate cravings!

Problems Associated with Iron Intake

One of the main symptoms of iron deficiency is anaemia. This occurs when the stores of iron in the body deplete and it is no longer possible to maintain haemoglobin levels in the blood. This particularly affects children and pre-menopausal women. The common symptoms of anaemia include:

  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Pallor
  • Hair loss
  • Irritability
  • Weakness

In extreme cases, deficiency can be fatal so it is important to ensure you consume sufficient quantities of this essential nutrient. Usually though, an increase in iron intake will restore your iron levels to normal.

Iron overdose is also potentially fatal, and often the first symptoms are stomach ulcers, followed by nausea and vomiting. The pain can then abate before the iron passes into the internal organs, particularly the brain and liver.

Iron is an extremely important nutrient that plays an important role within your body. Avoid the risk of anaemia and deficiency by making sure you eat plenty of the great iron-rich foods. This will keep your body in top shape and you will certainly feel better for it.

Have you ever had your levels checked? How were they?