This one goes out to all the ladies
I bring this up at this start of this particular cycle because I recently got the results of some blood work back from my doctor. I thought with the amount of whole foods, and deep green veggies in particular that I eat, that I should have healthy levels of all the vitamins and minerals my body needs, but this time my iron stores were low - still in the conventionally accepted range of normal, but too close to low for my liking. This got me thinking that I should make a particular dietary push in the iron-consuming department for the next while, but especially around the time that I bleed, when I'm obviously loosing more of the stuff.
We need iron to enhance oxygen distribution throughout our bodies, keep our immune systems healthy and to help our bodies produce energy. Signs of iron deficiency include fatigue and weakness, decreased ability to concentrate, increased susceptibility to infections, hair loss, dizziness, headaches, brittle nails, apathy and depression. (I got this info of the World's Healthiest Foods Website.)
Here are the plant-based iron-rich food sources worth focusing on: Swiss chard, lentils, kidney beans, spinach, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, shiitake mushrooms, mustard greens, turnip greens, green beans, blackstrap molasses, as well as herbs and spices like nettle, thyme, cumin, basil, cinnamon, black pepper, oregano and turmeric. (And remember, you can generally expect higher nutrient levels in these things when they're organically grown!)
If you have Get It Ripe you might make yourself some Hot Iron or Ginger Turmeric Tea to drink, and the Chili Non-Carne (maybe over spinach or chard). If you're needing something sweet you might nibble on the Gingerbread, the Double-Whammy Ginger Cookies or the Tahini Thumbprint Cookies.
If your a bit lazy in the kitchen, and even steaming some greens isn't a daily habit, you might look into an iron supplement like Floravit (it's the gluten- and yeast-free version of Floradix).
A regular practice of deep breathing won't up your iron levels, but it will help get more oxygen in your body, help you to feel calm and energized, so I'd advocate for that too.
Now that I've brought up "Lady Health", if you want me to talk about PMS sometime, just let me know and I'd be happy to do so.
PS. For those of you who haven't heard yet, I was accepted to return to the Midwifery Education Program at Ryerson University this fall. Wheeee!