Posts Tagged ‘Children’

Popeye was almost right

But he should have eaten fresh spinach instead of canned. It’s a great source of iron, which increases the health of your blood, especially red blood cells. Red blood cells in turn feed your muscles, among many other things, and in turn, gives you energy and strength.

The absorbed iron is transported as plasma ferritin and stored in liver, spleen, bone marrow and kidney. When red cells are broken down, the liberated iron is reutilized in the formation of new red cells. Iron is necessary for oxygen transport and cell growth by helping the blood transport oxygen from the lungs to the tissue cells where it is needed.

Are you getting enough iron?

Iron deficiency symptoms include: Pale skin & nail beds, fatigue, irritability, dizziness, weakness, shortness of breath, sore tongue and mouth, light headed, brittle nails, decreased appetite (especially in children), headache, weakness. Other symptoms include heartburn, gas, vague abdominal pains, numbness and tingling in the extremities, heart palpitation, and sores at the corners of the mouth.

What causes the malabsorption of iron?

Deficiency Vitamin C, because Vitamin C aides in iron absorption. In men and postmenopausal women, anemia is usually due to blood loss associated with ulcers, the use of aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS), or colon cancer.

Iron is mostly absorbed from duodenum (part of the intestines) and upper small intestine. So if you have any digestive issues or food sensitivities, you could be at risk for anemia.

Phytate, which is found in some whole grains and legumes, can limit iron absorption. Soy, which is a good vegetarian source of iron, contains phytate and certain proteins that interfere with iron absorption. Other foods that obstruct iron absorption include coffee, tea (including some herbal), cocoa, calcium, fiber and some spices.

Some iron loss occurs naturally. The total daily iron loss of an adult is about 1 mg and about 2 mg in menstruating women.

 

Daily Requirements of Iron

Children, men and women according to age have different nutritional needs. Please see chart below for guidelines.

Children
7 mos – 1 yr 11 mg         1 yr – 4 yrs 7 mg

4 yrs – 8 yrs 10 mg          9 yrs – 13 yrs 8 mg

Men
14 yrs – 18 yrs 11 mg        19 yrs + 8 mg

Women

14 yrs – 18 yrs 15 mg

19 yrs – 50 yrs 18 mg
51 + yrs 8 mg

Pregnant 27 mg

Lactating 14 yrs – 18 yrs 10 mg
19 + yrs     9 mg

 

Sources of Iron

Food                         Iron in mg             Food                       Iron in mg

Black beans              7.9                               Tofu                         4.6
Garbanzos                6.9                               Lima beans             4.5
Pintos                       6.1                              Lentils                     6.6
Navy                         5.1                                Split peas               3.4
Soybeans                 8.8                           Kidney Beans         5.2

Fresh Peas              2.9                            Tempeh                    2.2

 

Vegetables (1 cup cooked)

Spinach                   6.4                             Kale                       1.8
Beet greens            2.8                             Acorn squash         1.7
Swiss chard            4.0                             Brussels sprouts   1.7
Tomato juice           2.2                             Potato w/skin         1.4
Butternut squash    2.1                              Beets                      1.0

Fruit

Prune juice (1 cup)  10.5                            Dates (10)              2.4
Dried peach             5 3.9                            Prunes                   1.8
Raisins, ½ cup        2.6                          Strawberries, 1 cup   1.5

Grains (¼ cup dry)
Rice bran                     10.8                    Wheat bran/germ      1.9
Quinoa                         4.6                     Cream of wheat           8.1
Millet                            3.9                      Oat or cornmeal         0.7

Seeds (approximately ¼ cup)

Pumpkin seeds           4.0                    Sunflower seeds          2.4

Hemp Seeds              13.6

Miscellaneous

Blackstrap molasses  3.2                  Brewer’s yeast, 1 tbs        1.4
Tahini 2 tbsp               2.7                   Cashews ¼ cup               2.0

 

So next time your at the farmers market, pick up some some kale and spinach and add them to your black bean chili or next soup. Or top your green salad with pumpkin seeds.  Not only will it taste great, but you’ll feel more energized.

Live natural. Live well.

Heather

Kids Inspire to Go Green

I decided on this week’s blog topic after going to an art show put on by my 3-year-old neighbor’s pre-school.  Her school created a show with artwork, photography, and poetry (yes poetry!) about saving our planet.  It was so special to see what these kids had created, and how inspired they were to save the environment. This cause is also near and dear to my heart.

All the parents and guests seemed very moved by the messages like, “Please stop hurting and polluting Earth.”  By the end of the day I had a sinking suspicion that not many of the adults there were actually going to take the action necessary to fulfill the wishes of their children.  Here were these wonderful kids creating meaningful statements, and no one was even recycling their water bottles!  Many parents had throw-away coffee cups from the nearby coffee shop, and the parking lot was filled with gas guzzlers.

My frustration by this lack of true environmental action has inspired me to do more.  I’m not writing this to say I’m any better than those at the exhibit.  What if we all had the same courage that these young artists showed in sharing their messages with the world?  There are some moments in our lives when we must speak up, and this is one of those moments.  Why am I writing about protecting this precious planet on a health care site?

For two reasons:

1. We’re running out of time.  If you don’t know what’s happening to our planet in regards to global warming, air and water pollution, and running out of natural resources, please investigate.  I recommend a few of many sites out there: www.nrdc.org, Global Green USA.

2.  It seems obvious, but how many of us really understand that the state of our environment directly affects our health?  The fact is, cancer rates and autoimmune diseases are increasing yearly because the planet is so toxic.  This is real.  In just ten years of practice, I can see a drastic difference in my patients’ toxicity.   And as we get sicker and sicker, what we put in our bodies and homes is hurting the environment more and more.

It’s still important to take some simple steps.  See some easy, money saving tips on my “Going Green” page- http://getnaturalgetwell.com/going-green.  But it’s not just about reusing a bag or changing a light bulb anymore.  Take action.  I am dedicated to finding and supporting new solutions to save our planet, but awareness is key.  Contact your local representatives to do more.  Encourage your neighbors and friends to join you in this effort.  Eat organic, local foods.  And please, do consider getting rid of your SUV.
As always,

Live natural.  Live well,
Heather

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