Is Your Winter Weariness Really Iron Deficiency?
This is that bizarre time of year when we turn to a groundhog to tell us whether we’ll be enjoying an early spring or if we’re in for six more weeks of winter. (We’re not sure why the rodent gets to decide, but tradition is tradition.) If facing another month and a half of winter sounds exhausting, we feel you. But there may be another reason behind your lethargy. You could be low on iron.
The iron-energy connection
Iron is an energizing mineral. It helps your body make hemoglobin, an important component of red blood cells. Hemoglobin ferries oxygen all over your body and is needed to extract energy from the food you eat. Not enough iron, not enough oxygen, not enough energy.
Low iron: A common problem
A lot of things can deplete your iron stores. Blood loss through menstruation, pregnancy (because you’re building all the blood for a whole new human being), vigorous exercise, and strangely, certain foods like soda, tea, coffee, and dairy products, are prime culprits.
That’s why being low on iron is a common problem. In fact, iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency. Ladies, you’re at particular risk, especially before menopause, but guys, you’re not immune. Up to 12 percent of white American women are iron-deficient and for African-American and Mexican-American women, it’s close to 20 percent. Vegetarians, vegans, and seniors are also more likely to come up short.
Iron deficiency symptoms
What happens when you don’t get enough iron? Feeling wiped out is the most common tell, but you can also have trouble concentrating, feel cold all the time, experience shortness of breath, look paler than usual, and develop dark circles under your eyes. You may also find yourself coming down with a lot of colds or notice that your nails keep chipping. It’s not anyone’s idea of a good time.
Why iron-rich foods may not solve your problem
You could start eating a lot of iron-rich foods, like liver or lentils, which are two of the best sources of the nutrient. But it’s actually really difficult to raise your iron levels through diet alone. Most folks, such as children over four, teens, and non-pregnant adults need 18 mg a day. But if you’re preggers, or nursing a wee one, you need a whopping 27 mg.
Let’s put that into perspective. If you ate 3.5 ounces of liver plus a cup of lentils every day, you’d still only be up to 13.1 mg of iron. So in addition to eating foods that contain iron (like shellfish, pumpkin seeds, tofu, and Popeye’s old standby, spinach), we suggest adding a supplemental source of iron to your daily routine.
The problem with iron supplements
There’s a catch with most iron supplements, though — in this case, two. First, iron supplements can be difficult for your body to absorb. Second, they can cause GI distress like stomach upset and constipation. Wait, don’t leave, we’ve got a solution.
Ferritin+: A gentle iron that works
Ferritin+ is our breakthrough, plant-based ferritin iron supplement made from organic peas. Unlike iron supplements that are rough on your digestive system, Ferritin’s natural protein coating allows it to release iron into your digestive tract slowly, to absorb efficiently and minimize digestive upset. Win-win!
Our clinical studies have shown that plant-based ferritin can effectively raise and maintain healthy iron levels, both in the blood and in ferritin reserves. All you need is one capsule a day to begin rebuilding your iron stores.*
And once your iron levels are healthy, you’ll have the energy to start planning your garden… or to shovel the walk yet again.
 Le CHH. PLoS One. 2016 Nov 15;(11):11:e0166635. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0166635. eCollection 2016
 Spritzler F. 11 healthy foods that are very high in iron. Healthline. 2018 Jul 18. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-healthy-iron-rich-foods