Hi. This is Eunice from Diet Center.
We may wonder, “why am I so tired?” Low iron levels can leave us feeling fatigued and may hinder our exercise efforts. Research shows how iron affects exercise efforts. In one study the participants had low iron levels. Half of the participants were given iron supplementation and half were given placebos. After four weeks of exercise, those taking iron supplementation were able to finish their sessions 12% faster than in the first week. The participants on placebos only improved the time it took to complete their sessions by 5%.
To avoid the risk of having low iron levels, try to consume recommended amounts of iron daily. What is the RDA for iron? For women ages 19-50 years old the RDA for iron is 18 mg. For men ages 19-50 years old 8 mg. And for men and women ages 51 and over it’s also 8 mg.
What foods are higher in iron? Lean meats, legumes, whole grains and green leafy vegetables. For example, beef and chicken liver, shellfish, spinach, lean red meats like beef, flank, round, tenderloin, and sirloin. Venison, buffalo, pinto beans, kidney beans, navy beans, white beans, soybeans or edamame, lentils pumpkin seeds and quinoa are also good sources of iron.
Consuming foods that are rich in vitamin C can help with the absorption of iron. For example, fruits and vegetables are good sources of vitamin C.
That might make us wonder going into fall and winter when fresh produce may not be at peak nutritional quality. Can we still obtain nutritious fruits and vegetables by purchasing canned and frozen produce?
Yes! In fact, some canned or frozen fruits and vegetables have more nutrients than when bought fresh. This is because some produce loses its nutrients during transport, especially if imported. Some frozen and canned produce are packed right after picking, keeping their nutrients intact.
Some of the best off-season choices you may consume include frozen peaches. One half cup of frozen peaches has almost 20% more vitamin C than fresh peaches, and more than 30% more vitamin C than canned peaches. One half cup of canned mandarin oranges contains more vitamin C than a serving of fresh mandarin oranges provides. Frozen asparagus has 24% more folate in a half cup than fresh or canned asparagus contains.
When purchasing canned fruits and vegetables try to get fruit that is in natural juice or light syrup for less sugar, and vegetables that are either low in sodium or unsalted. For frozen fruit, try to buy it with no sugar added.
Your daily intake of iron can mean improvement in both your energy levels and in your exercise results! Please consult your physician before taking an iron supplement.
Thank you for reading Diet Center’s tip of the week. If you are struggling with weight loss, call 928-753-5066 or stop by 1848 Hope Ave in Kingman.