Lately, I’ve been feeling exhausted after coming home from work and finding it difficult to get out the door to do my runs or go to the gym. Most of the time, 90% of my effort is really putting on my runners and getting myself out the door and the rest tends to follow. But this time, i knew something else was going on…as i don’t usually have a hard time staying awake at work and even tying on my shoelaces seemed to be quite an effort! A simple blood test came back that I had probable iron deficiency, which is quite common, especially in vegetarians (I am not one myself as I still eat chicken, but no red meat). So i grabbed an old bottle of Proferrin (an iron supplement) that had been sitting on my shelf since last year and I started taking it again. Mind you, I’m the least compliant when it comes to taking pills. Being a pharmacist…i should know better right? So I did some research on what some of the best food sources of iron are for those vegetarians out there. After all, taking one less pill is better right! Here’s a list of foods that I like that are rich in iron:
– Green leafy vegetables: kale, bok choy, broccoli, spinach, swiss chard
– Quinoa (contains 8% of total daily intake of iron in 100gm cooked quinoa)
– Beans and chickpeas – contains 34% of total daily intake of iron in 100gm
– Nuts like almonds, cashews (8-10%) and Pumpkin seeds being the king of all at 30%
Yes…brussel sprouts is a good source too but I’m not a huge fan. Looking at this list, I already include a lot of them in my meals and snacks, but sometimes, it’s just not enough. More on the different types of iron supplements at a later time. As a brief note, Proferrin has been my go-to iron supplement of choice because as i said, it is the only heme iron available which is more readily absorbed by your body than non-heme iron. It also tends to be better tolerated than other forms of iron and isn’t affected by caffeine or food consumption as much. If you’re feeling fatigued, having difficulty concentrating, soreness in the mouth, looking pale, short of breath, having cravings (more than usual), then maybe ask your doctor about getting your iron levels checked and a vitamin B12 level as well.
On a different note, I did manage to drag myself out on the weekend for a beautiful hike up Mt. Douglas and rode on the maiden voyage on my new bike.
While riding on the Lockside Trail, a beautiful scenic route from downtown Victoria to the ferry terminal, I came across this little booth selling rhubarb. I remember seeing it last year and it was selling organic fresh eggs back then. This time it was rhubarb. Simply drop the money by the cooler and take as you wish. I was tempted to pick up some on my way back, and as I almost arrived, an elderly man came out to take the cart back. I asked if he had eggs for sale and he said to come back next time. Love small town people.
Time for a rhubarb pie next time maybe? Then i need to carry a bigger packsack when i go for my next bike ride 🙂
Close with nature 🙂