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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?

Are You Deficient in Copper paleo diet primal supplement sources-min

Are You Deficient in Copper?

Copper is an important trace dietary mineral which fulfils many important functions within the body.

Many of the proteins and enzymes that perform essential metabolic functions contain copper. It is important for the growth, development and maintenance of bone, ligaments and many organs. It also works as part of the immune system to fight infections and can neutralize free radicals – molecules with unpaired valence electrons that can cause damage to cells in the body.
Copper is a constituent of the blood pigment hemocyanin in mollusks and crustaceans, and is involved with the production of hemoglobin in vertebrates, including mammals and humans. It is also important for keeping bones, muscles, nerves and the immune system healthy.

What Does Copper Do?

Copper has several important uses within the body. One of the most important roles is in the production of bone and connective tissue. It also works with iron to help the body to produce red blood cells. People who have a deficiency can suffer from anaemia and osteoporosis.
The human body has a homeostatic mechanism that deals with copper. This attempts to give the body a continual supply of copper while eliminating excess amounts of copper. Consuming too much or too little copper can lead to health problems, so it is always best to eat the correct amount.
Are You Deficient in Copper paleo diet primal supplement sources-min

Food Sources of Copper

Like many essential minerals, copper is available through both plant and animal sources. Many of these are compatible with the paleo diet, including liver pâté, which is probably the best source with just a 12g portion of liver pâté providing 100% of your recommended daily intake. Liver pâté is an amazing super-food!
As well as being a supposed aphrodisiac, oysters are also a great source of copper. Lobster and calamari are other good seafood source of copper.
Other important sources of copper include:
·         Nuts, particularly cashew nuts
·         Sesame seeds and tahini
·         Pumpkin and squash seeds
·         Sunflower seeds
·         Prunes
·         Sun-dried tomatoes

Problems Associated with Copper Intake

Whilst copper is an essential mineral that your body needs, it is also toxic in large quantities. An inherited condition, called Wilson’s disease, can cause deposits of copper in the liver, brain and other organs. These copper deposits can lead to the development of hepatitis, kidney problems and brain disorders.
Copper deficiency can be a major problem for the human body. As it is an essential ingredient for many bodily functions, having low levels can seriously affect your health. Anemia is a common side effect, due to the reduced rate of producing red blood cells. Osteoporosis can also result from copper deficiency and problems with the immune system.
As an important dietary mineral, it is important to consume your recommended daily amount of copper.
Do you eat many of the foods that provide copper? Have you ever had your mineral levels checked? I’d love to hear your thoughts, in the comments below.
Paleo Diet Primal Chromium Levels Mineral Supplement deficiency overdose-min

How are your Chromium Levels?

Chromium is an important mineral that you’ve probably not paid much attention to, but with its links to glucose – it’s crucial.

What Does Chromium Do?

The main use within your body is to help metabolise fats and carbohydrates in the digestive system. It boosts fatty acid and cholesterol synthesis, which are vital for healthy brain function. Chromium is also involved in the metabolism of insulin, and scientists have found links between low levels of chromium in the blood and type 2 diabetes. Low levels of chromium are also associated with several factors for cardiovascular disease.

People with chromium deficiency have limited glucose tolerance, and you often find it in people with type 2 diabetes. This is particularly common in older people or infants with protein-calorie malfunction. Supplements can help to manage these conditions, but they are not a substitute for other forms of treatment.

Fortunately, it is difficult to overdose in chromium due to the low absorption and high excretion rates.

Paleo Diet Primal Chromium Levels Mineral Supplement deficiency overdose-min

Food Sources of Chromium

Out of all the different sources of chromium, the best is undoubtedly brewer’s yeast. However, foods made from yeast, such as vegemite and marmite, are very processed – and not exactly Paleo!

Many meats are also good sources of chromium, particularly chicken and beef, as well as eggs. Liver also has high concentrations – another reason to get more offal into your diet!

Certain fruit and vegetables are also high in chromium. These include:

  • Green capsicum (bell peppers)
  • Black peppers
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Grapes
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach

In general, foods that have high concentrations of simple sugars, such as sucrose and fructose, are usually low in chromium.

Problems with Chromium Intake

As low chromium levels link to diabetes, it is important for any diabetics following the paleo diet to ensure they have a sufficiently high intake. If you are concerned about your chromium intake, you can improve the absorption rate on the body by consuming vitamin C and vitamin B3 (niacin). High consumption of simple sugars will increase the excretion rate from the body – so it’s great that a Paleo diet is naturally low in sugars.

Infection, exercise and stress can all reduce levels of chromium in the body and potentially lead to deficiency. When this happens, the body is unable to use glucose efficiently to meet all its energy requirements and more glucose is required.

Have you ever had your blood levels tested?