(NaturalNews) Feeling tired all of the time, despite having a good night's sleep, may be a sign of an iron deficiency. In fact, according to Mary Bolster, Editor-in-Chief of Natural Health magazine, fatigue is the most common sign of anemia, which means that there's an iron deficiency in the blood.
Bolster says that other signs of iron deficiency also include pale skin due to lack of oxygen in the blood, abnormal reactions to stress, feeling unfocused and even having an unusual craving to chew. She even explains that severe, iron deprivation that goes unchecked can become so extreme that it may feel as though a heart attack is occurring. In reality, things like shortness of breath may be an indication of an iron deficiency that has not been brought under control, rather than it being a symptom of a heart attack.
Alice Mackintosh, a nutritional therapist, stresses the importance of iron in the body. "Iron is needed for a number of highly complex processes that continuously take place in the body on a molecular level and that are indispensable to human life. The effects of deficiency can therefore be very far reaching."
Best foods to bolster iron levels
To help restore iron in the body, it's recommended to first take iron supplements. Eating iron-rich foods is also highly suggested. Certain meats are often advised for people in need of more iron, however for those following a healthy, non-meat (referred to as non-heme) diet, there are other options. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that foods such as roasted pumpkin seed kernels, cooked spinach and white beans are very good sources of iron. Other foods that boost iron levels include blackstrap molasses which has 7.2 milligrams of iron for every two tablespoons, and lima beans.
Determining whether or not an iron deficiency exists is as easy as getting a blood test. The test should check for levels pertaining to hemoglobin, hematocrit and red blood count (RBC), all of which are indicators of the presence of iron in the blood.
About the author: A science enthusiast with a keen interest in health nutrition, Antonia has been intensely researching various dieting routines for several years now, weighing their highs and their lows, to bring readers the most interesting info and news in the field. While she is very excited about a high raw diet, she likes to keep a fair and balanced approach towards non-raw methods of food preparation as well.