Put your hand up if you have (or have previously had) low iron *raises hand* It’s incredibly common, particularly among undernourished children, young women, the elderly and during pregnancy. But, in fact, just about anyone can develop a deficiency.
Signs that your iron is low include: fatigue and lethargy, foggy thinking, low mood, recurrent infections, changes in heart rate, breathlessness, sensitivity to the cold, and increased pallor (i.e. pale skin, nails, tongue, etc).
It should be noted that any one of these symptoms could be the result of some other, non-iron, reason… and this is why it’s a good idea to chat to your GP or preferred practitioner if you suspect something’s not right.
The quality of your diet, how well your digestive system works and whether you have any other diagnosed conditions will also influence the likelihood of a true deficiency.
If it turns out that your iron is low or you’re more susceptible to deficiency (during pregnancy for example – or if you experience heavy periods) supplementation can be very beneficial. Regardless of supplements, however, it’s important to assess your diet, and ensure you’re eating plenty of foods naturally rich in iron and a variety of other nutrients.
As you can see from the excerpt I’ve clipped out of the Natural Pregnancy Care eBook to the right, there are numerous foods that contain good amounts of of iron… beyond the steak and spinach that many people initially think!