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Increase iron levels with diet, suggests Dr. Oz

Mechele R. Dillard's picture

If you are always exhausted, even with adequate sleep, you may have low iron levels, indicates Dr. Oz.

Are you exhausted? Can’t seem to “get going” no matter how much you sleep? Wake up and feel like you’ve already worked a full day?

According to Dr. Oz, your iron levels may be to blame.

Low iron, Dr. Oz said, is the #1 nutritional deficiency in the world today. It is essential to the production of hemoglobin, which is responsible for getting oxygen to our entire body. So, if your iron levels are low, your body is working overtime to try and get oxygen everywhere it needs to be.

No wonder you are so tired!

Symptoms of Iron Deficiency

Not only will you be tired, as levels drop, you may become irritable, weak and unable to focus; your hair may even begin to fall out, your skin may become more pale than is normal for you, and your nails may become brittle! And, are you always cold? Classic sign of iron deficiency.

Still, this deficiency is often missed by doctors, Dr. Oz explained, because they think that iron deficiency equals anemia, a lower-than-normal number of red blood cells. Research, however, has indicated that preceding full-blown anemia, your doctor can do a test to check your ferritin levels, the iron stores in your blood. If you are having the symptoms of low iron and your doctor has ruled out anemia, ask about this test, as well, Dr. Oz suggests.

Eat Your Way to Energy

Fortunately, this condition can typically be treated with diet. According to Dr. Oz, a change in diet could up your energy levels within the first week!

Heme iron is derived from hemoglobin, and is found in meats; it absorbs 2-3 times faster than non-heme iron. Good sources of heme iron are:

  • Lean ground beef
  • Chicken livers
  • Oysters
  • Clams

Good sources of non-heme iron are:

  • Beans
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Dried fruits
  • Fortified cereals

Additionally, eating foods high in Vitamin C with iron-rich vegetables; cooking in an iron pan; and limiting intake of tea and coffee within three hours before and after a meal will also help your body absorb more iron.

For more information, visit Dr. Oz online.

Image: Wikimedia Commons