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What to know about Iron

Category Diet, Health

Iron is one of the minerals that is necessary for supplementation following a roux-en-y bypass procedure.  It’s important that we understand why iron is necessary for the body and ways that we are able to get some of it through food.

Iron is a mineral present in many foods and added to some food products.  It is an essential component of hemoglobin, which transfers oxygen from the lungs to body tissues.  It is also a component of myoglobin, which provides oxygen to muscles.  Iron is necessary for metabolism, growth, development, normal cellular functioning and synthesis of some hormones.

Forms of Iron:
Heme: Iron from meat, seafood and poultry
Nonheme: Iron from plants, iron-fortified foods, meat, seafood, and poultry

You’ll notice that meat, seafood and poultry contain both heme and nonheme iron.  Heme iron is better absorbed than nonheme.  Most dietary iron is nonheme iron.

Foods that affect iron absorption:
·      Meat, poultry and seafood increase absorption of nonheme iron
·      Vitamin C enhances absorption of nonheme iron
·      Calcium can reduce the absorption of heme and nonheme iron

Sources of Iron:
Heme:
-Poultry, Meat, Seafood
Nonheme:
-Enriched cereals, grains, beans, fruits, vegetables, tofu, squash, broccoli, nuts, seeds

So there you have it!  Incorporating more food combinations can help you increase your iron levels.

The more you know!

Katherine Horner, MS, RD, LD, NASM-CPT, CES

Surgical Weight Loss Dietitian & Exercise Specialist

Information a compilation from National Institutes of Health, WebMD and rd411.