Sadly, I’m no Iron Woman

Its August right now, almost September. Would you believe me if I told you I have been unwell since Monday July 9th?! Believe me or not, that is a fact. I had the worse case of sinusitis I have EVER had before which took just under 3 weeks to clear up. As a result I got a cough which lingered for 2 – 3 weeks followed by a sore throat which will now not go away.

After 6 weeks of being unwell, I paid the Doctor a visit. She informed me that my illness was viral and I would just have to let it take its course and go away. She did however say that 6 weeks was a long time to be ill and maybe I had an iron deficiency which was hampering my recovery. This was no huge surprise to me, as I have been anemic before in my younger days. I opted out of a blood test and told her I would take some iron tablets, which made her question my diet, which made me question my diet!

In all honesty, I couldn’t remember the last time I cooked a vegetable at home never mind a leafy green one high in iron! 

Iron is an important component of haemogloblin (the protein which transports oxygen around your body). Low irons levels can therefore lead to feeling lethargic and tired, which can reduce your motivation to get out of bed, let alone exercise and is currently the most common micronutrient deficiency in the world! 

The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for women is almost 50% higher than that for males, and it is possible to achieve your RDA on a normal healthy diet. 

Iron-rich foods include:

  • dark-green leafy vegetables, such as watercress, spinach and curly kale
  • iron-fortified bread
  • beans
  • nuts
  • meat
  • apricots
  • prunes
  • raisins (NHS Direct, 2012)

But there are also foods which make it harder for your body to absorb iron:

These may include:

  • tea and coffee
  • wholegrain cereals
  • calcium, found in dairy products such as milk
  • antacids (medication to help relieve indigestion)

So, now the fight is on to get rid of my sore throat and get fully back into action. It would help if when everyone sneezes / coughs they covered their mouth, and also didn’t hold onto the hand rail after sneezing / coughing into that hand (if you aren’t already conscientious about these things!) 

…There you go, I am “No iron woman”! The moral of the story is… EAT CLEAN, TRAIN DIRTY! Try to always eat a nutritionally balanced meal and then give it all you’ve got in your workout! 



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