Although iron is classified as a trace mineral, it’s essential for overall health. Many of the body’s functions rely on iron and if you get too little, your body can’t function properly. On the flip side, getting too much can also be detrimental to your health.
There are two main types of iron; heme and non-heme. Heme iron is the type found in meat, poultry and fish. Non-heme, on the other hand, can be found in both plant and animal sources. The biggest difference between the two types is how well the body absorbs them. Heme iron is much more easily absorbed by the body than non-heme iron, yet most of our dietary supply comes from non-heme sources. Enriched breads and cereals, lentils, legumes, dark leafy greens, and some dried fruits are foods rich in this type of iron. Although the iron found in these foods is typically harder to absorb, your can improve your body’s absorption rate by pairing your non-heme-rich food sources with a food high in heme iron, vitamin C, citric or lactic acid, and certain sugars.
Most of the body’s iron is found within two proteins: hemoglobin and myoglobin. Hemoglobin is found in the body’s red blood cells while myoglobin is found in the muscle cells. In both, iron helps accept, carry, and release oxygen to the cells of the body. In addition, iron keeps your immune system strong and helps your body produce energy.
Here in the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates food safety. Denmark’s equivalent to that is the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration, also known as the DVFA. Stateside, we tend to think of extra vitamins as a positive thing but in Denmark, vitamin fortified food is a diet-don’t. The DVFA has made it clear that their stance on fortifying foods with vitamins and minerals is one of suspicion and concern.
The theory held within the DVFA is that a properly balanced diet negates the necessity for supplementing with extra vitamins. In fact, they believe so strongly in the dangers of vitamin and mineral overdose that fortified foods must first be approved through a pricey application process. Foods found to contain what the DVFA classifies as dangerous levels of fortification are not granted approval.
Among the products recently pulled from the shelves of a small Copenhagen store is Ovaltine. At my home, we use Ovaltine as a chocolate milk treat because it’s nutrient enriched- I feel a lot better about that decision as opposed to pouring a giant glob of chocolate flavored syrup in to my son’s cup. What strikes me as particularly odd is that Ovaltine hasn’t yet been granted shelf-space and yet Red Bull (with its copious amounts of both vitamins and caffeine) has, according to the New York Times.
Unfortunately, with that flavor everyone craves usually comes a lot of excess calories and sugars, and despite the fact they come in liquid form, flavored beverages like tea and soda (even diet soda, which people seem to think because it is calorie free, it is an acceptable substitute for water) can dehydrate you rather than re-hydrate you.
Neuro has heard the plight of the under-hydrated adult craving flavor without junk, and offer a large array of tasty, hydrating waters that focus on every area of your health.
Not sleeping well? You’re covered. Libido needing a boost? Neuro’s got the stuff. Looking to drop a few pounds? You got it.
It’s important for everyone to get enough calcium, but women are especially at risk for calcium deficiency, which can lead to osteoporosis and decrease bone health later in life. Even though there is calcium in many of our favorite foods, it can still be difficult to meet the recommended daily allowance for the important mineral.
Dairy products provide calcium, but people with dairy allergies, lactose intolerance and vegans need to look to other food sources to fill their calcium needs. Foods high in calcium include: almonds, broccoli, spinach, cooked kale, canned salmon with the bones, sardines and tofu.
The supplement industry is filled with a mixed bag of products, from the safe and effective to the downright dangerous. This show is packed with information you won’t want to miss. So get out a pen and paper and take some good notes. (more…)