Tuesday, February 28, 2012

(Not) Pumping Iron

When Kitty first visited her specialist, he prescribed iron in response to her blood test results.  When the supplements didn't raise her numbers significantly, and her doctor said that she would probably have to be given iron by IV, I decided to try to improve her iron levels through diet in addition to the supplements.  This article from the Office of Dietary Supplements at the National Institute for Health came in handy.  It includes separate tables for sources of heme iron (comes from hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells, and is readily available to the body) and non-heme iron (comes from plants, and is not absorbed as well), and it gives suggestions to improve iron absorption.

Here are some iron-rich foods we enjoy:
11 mg./serving - Chicken Livers - fry them up in butter or olive oil
5.7 mg./serving -  Canned Oysters - try the smoked ones from Trader Joe's with a salad
5.2 mg./serving - Beef Liver - we like it cooked up with onions
6.6 mg./serving - Lentils - make a hearty soup or serve with  Spicy Tunisian Sauce (diced tomatoes, olive oil, cumin, red pepper flakes, fresh crushed garlic, chopped parsley, and salt)


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