We know we want to give our bodies the nutrients it needs to run better from food first, but better supplements can be a great way to meet our total nutrient needs, easily, more often. I love iron-rich foods like hemp seeds and spinach (check out The Better Iron Menu), but I don’t get them in every single day (that’s right, I am not perfect, no do I strive to be). So, I rely on a better iron supplement to help me meet my daily iron needs more often. But before I added it to my better nutrition plan, I did The Better Iron Evaluation to assess my current iron intake, get my better iron amount, and develop a plan to meet it with better, not perfect, choices (like a better supplement) more often. Here are some of the things to consider when picking your better supplement:
- What did your doctor or dietitian recommend? While 1 in 10 women in the U.S. is at risk of being low iron, it is also possible to get in too much iron so it is critical that you get your current iron levels evaluated (at least once a year unless there is a health concern or life stage change, or if your practitioner recommends more often).
- Are you pregnant?
- Are you a woman who gets her period?
- Are you HIIT-ing it hard at the gym, outdoors or training for a race or fitness event?
- Are you following a plant-based diet?
- The better iron supplement is the better one for you. I recommend taking an iron supplement with the following specifications
- Is made from plant food ingredients
- Is separate from your multi (so the other minerals don’t interfere with nutrient absorption)
- Is easy to swallow and digest. I love that MegaFood Blood Builder* now has a mini-tab size too. If you prefer a liquid, there are Ashley Koff Approved (AKA) options for that form too.
- Is ‘clinically proven’ to improve iron levels…. with no nausea or constipation**
- Even better efforts don’t always work out.What can I do if I am eating iron-rich foods and taking a supplement and it isn’t working to increase my iron levels? Work with your doctor and a dietitian to identify the issue. You may need a different supplement, a different dose, or you may need to look at your other supplements and medications etc. There are factors that can interfere with iron absorption like foods and supplements (coffee, calcium in foods as well as supplements and medications) as well as your digestive health and medications. This is what we dietitians are trained to help you assess, so make your appointment with yours (or let me do your Better Supplement Evaluation) today.
*Ashley Koff RD is a paid spokesperson for this product. She chooses to endorse certain products that she has experience with – she may use it personally and/or recommend it to her patients – and reviews the ingredients and marketing efforts for accuracy based on the information she has access to while the product remains Ashley Koff Approved (AKA)
** This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.