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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?

Vitamin B9 Folate & the Paleo Diet do you get enough deficient signs symptoms sources supplements-min

Vitamin B9 (Folate) & the Paleo Diet

Growth and development – this is what Vitamin B9 is most vital for. Growth and development actually comprise a whole set of processes in the human body, with cell division and DNA production perhaps the most important ones, and so Vitamin B9 becomes especially important during pregnancy, lactating, and early growth stages. What is more, it promotes nerve function, helps to prevent osteoporosis-related bone fractures, and can play a role in the prevention or treatment of a number of medical conditions: anaemia, cervical tumours, depression, glossitis, insomnia, myelopathy, ovarian tumours, restless leg syndrome, schizophrenia, uterine tumours.

Unfortunately, Vitamin B9 deficiency is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies, suffered often by pregnant women, by chronic alcohol abusers, and by those with poor nutrient absorption disorders like ulcerative colitis. How can you recognise a deficiency? This can by characterized by muscular fatigue, insomnia, depression, forgetfulness, irritability and gingivitis or periodontal disease.

Vitamin B9 actually comprises two compounds – Folate which is found in natural foods, and Folic Acid which is synthetic. Though similar, Folic Acid that is used for fortifying processed foods is absorbed to nearly half the level of Folate. Therefore, it makes much more sense to focus on whole foods to get adequate Vitamin B9 consumption, and for this the Paleo Diet is a great solution, as it promotes a natural way of eating in the name of long-term vitality and health.

How much Vitamin B9 do you need in your diet?

The daily recommended amount of folate is 400μg. Since it is easily excreted from the body, excessive intakes are very difficult to reach.

Vitamin B9 Folate & the Paleo Diet do you get enough deficient signs symptoms sources supplements-min

Which foods can you get Folate from?

  1. Liver – Whichever your preferred choice of animal, you’ll get a great amount of Vitamin B9 from it. Turkey liver, however, is the richest source, with 173% of your daily need of Folate in just 100g.
  2. Spinach – leafy greens are another fantastic source for Vitamin B9, with spinach as the forerunner. In 1 cup of cooked spinach, you’ll get 65% of your daily need of Folate.
  3. Beets – If you’re looking for a Folate-rich vegetable, beets are your best friends. 1 cup of raw beets covers 37.1% of the daily need of Vitamin B9. Beet salad, roasted beets, beet soup – the choices are endless!
  4. Romaine lettuce – When preparing a green salad, opt for romaine lettuce. 2 cups of this crunchy salad will provide 32% of your daily Folate need.
  5. Asparagus – In springtime, one of the best sources for Vitamin B9 is asparagus, providing 37% of your daily need in a 100g serving.
  6. Papaya – For an exotic dessert, reach for a papaya. In just one fruit, you will get 28.9% of your daily intake need of Vitamin B9.
  7. Avocado – Yet another reason for having a daily avocado is its Folate content. One cup of mashed avocado (time for guacamole?) amounts to 29.6% of your daily need of Vitamin B9.
  8. Cauliflower – For a Folate-rich change to those beets, reach for cauliflower. In 1 cup of raw cauliflower, there’s 15.2% of your daily Folate need. And it’s a delicious snack when eaten raw!

What else do you need to know about Vitamin B9?

Vitamin B9 is not very stable, and its content undergoes a relevant loss in the case of non-airtight storage, overcooking and reheating of food. In addition, green and black teas counteract the absorption of the vitamin and thus should be minimized if you focus on Vitamin B9 consumption. However, animal products that contain folate are more stable when it comes to cooking than plant products, so you shouldn’t have a problem if you focus on those. Luckily there’s no lack of them in the Paleo Diet!

So, do you think you should focus more on Folate consumption in your food? Maybe you have some experience related to it? Please share it in the comments!

Are you deficient in vitamin B2 supplement deficiency-min

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) & the Paleo Diet

If you’re aiming for optimal health, you shouldn’t overlook Vitamin B2 – also known as Riboflavin. A supporter of cellular energy production, it helps the body to metabolise carbohydrates. What is more, it plays an important role in the normal development of tissues – especially connective tissues like those that make up your skin and hair. Thus, it is an important component in the diet for feeling AND looking healthy.

A deficiency of Riboflavin can be noted by a variety of symptoms often related to skin issues like soreness around the lips, mouth and tongue, cracking of skin at the corners of the mouth, peeling of the skin (particularly around the nose), burning and itching around the eyes, and also a sensitivity to light. If you recognize these symptoms in yourself, the Paleo Diet can be a great help by providing adequate Vitamin B2 from natural sources.

There are more benefits to Riboflavin than relieving these symptoms, however! Vitamin B2 helps along in the absorption of iron, zinc, folate, vitamin B3 and vitamin B12, and it may play a role in preventing or treating a variety of health conditions, including anaemia, migraines, rosacea, carpal tunnel syndrome, cataracts, and vaginitis. If you’re doing heavy exercise (crossfit anyone?) your need for Vitamin B2 might be up to 10 times the ordinary amount.

How much Vitamin B2 should you consume?

The suggested daily amount is 1.7mg. There is no reported upper limit of consumption from natural food sources.

Are you deficient in vitamin B2 supplement deficiency-min

Where can you get Riboflavin from?

  1. Liver – Now this is a superfood! Whether you prefer beef, chicken or lamb liver (or any other animal for that matter), you can be sure of getting a good dose of Riboflavin. Lamb liver provides the most, with 270% of your daily need in a 100g serving. Great reason for sautéing some liver or having pate for dinner after a heavy workout! Or if you’re not accustomed to the taste of liver just yet, try adding some to your mince/ ground meat mixture when you make meatballs or burger patties to enjoy the health benefits without the strong taste.
  2. Almonds – If you’re looking for a Riboflavin-rich snack, almonds should be on the top of your list. A 100g serving covers 60% of your daily need. Feel free to eat this in the form of almond butter, if you wish!
  3. Mackerel – The best fish source for Vitamin B2, mackerel provides 32% of your daily need in 100 grams, or 56% per fillet. An easy way of adding mackerel to your diet is buying the canned variety – great on top of a green salad or eaten straight out of the tin!
  4. Eggs – Another reason to keep eating those eggs for breakfast! One pasture-raised egg provides 15.3% of your daily Riboflavin need.
  5. Spinach – Perhaps you want some spinach beside those eggs or with that mackerel fillet? 1 cup of cooked spinach provides 24.7% of your daily need of Vitamin B2.
  6. Sun-dried tomatoes – The rich-tasting sun-dried tomatoes that make sauces and salads stand out, are also a great source of Riboflavin. With 29% of your daily need covered in a 100g serving, they’re a healthy addition to your meals.

What else should you know about Vitamin B2 consumption?

Vitamin B2 is stable when heated, but if you’re boiling Riboflavin-rich food, a relevant amount of the vitamin will stay in the water – thus it is best to consume the broth as well to not let good micronutrients go to waste. In addition, exposure to light also affects the quantity of Riboflavin, so it is suggested to keep foods that are rich in it in opaque containers, and to cover pots with lids when cooking.

So, my Paleo friends, are you convinced of the benefits of Vitamin B2? Do you have any good suggestions for including it in your diet? Do share in the comments!