If you iron level is low… It happens (by Carter BloodCare)
If your hemoglobin is low, chances are you are not getting enough iron. It can affect the way you look, the way you feel, and if you are a blood donor -- it can delay your valuable donation.
Before giving blood with Carter BloodCare, your hemoglobin is checked to make sure you have enough to spare. Hemoglobin is a protein carried by red blood cells that has the important job of transporting oxygen throughout your body. If your hemoglobin is low, you will be asked to delay donating, but just for a short time. Rarely is low hemoglobin a cause for concern.
It may take a few weeks for your body to respond to an iron-rich diet, but soon you’ll start seeing and feeling the difference. It’s important that you take care of yourself, so in time, you can continue taking care of patients in our community by giving blood.
If you’re healthy and changes in your diet have not increased your hemoglobin after several weeks, you may consider taking a multivitamin with iron or an iron supplement.* Low hemoglobin is most common among women, elite athletes and vegetarians. If your hemoglobin is low and you do not fall into these categories, please consult your physician.
*Men, post-menopausal women and individuals with a family history of iron overload should not take iron supplements without consulting a doctor.
Tips to increase your iron
The best thing
Animal products such as eggs and meat, especially red meat and liver, chicken and seafood are excellent sources of iron.
The next best thing
Other foods with iron which are less easily absorbed into the body, but still good sources, include:
- Beans and lentils
- Pumpkin, sesame or squash seeds
- Baked potato with skin
- Sweet potato with skin
- Dark green, leafy vegetables
- Fresh fruits
- Dried fruits like apricots and raisins
- Iron-enriched cereals, breads and bran
- Enriched pasta
- Maple syrup
TIP: Iron from meat is absorbed most easily
TIP: When you pair food with a source of vitamin C (citrus products, berries and melons) you increase your iron absorption.
TIP: Avoid these iron blockers!
- Calcium Supplements
- Coffee, Tea
- Bran or High Fiber
- It’s an iron thing.
- By increasing the amount of iron-rich foods in your diet, you can give your body the raw materials it needs to build up your hemoglobin. The best iron sources are red meat, liver, lentils and other legumes, dried fruits and iron-enriched cereals and pasta.