Iron level and mood??? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 05-19-2003, 01:48 PM - Thread Starter
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First question, are dark leafy greens high in iron???

Second question, does low iron contribute to depression and just general feeling down???

With my last pregnancy I had pretty low, almost anemic iron levels, so I figure I am prone to it. I also get low levels during my periods each month.
So for the past couple of weeks, since I conceived practically, I have been in such a bummed out mood. My diet hasn't been the best, partly because of this mood and I am an emotional eater. Ok, I am getting to the point. Yesterday afternoon I ate a big dark leafy green salad and almost instantly my mood just jumped to the happy/content side. It was so strange, but I felt better immediately. And I still do feel pretty good. Which is WONDERFUL for a change.
So, is this in my head or can a salad make the world look brighter???
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#2 of 5 Old 05-19-2003, 06:54 PM
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I believe that dark, leafy greens *are* high in iron, but can also be high in calcium which counteracts it a bit (in an iron vs calcium fight, calcium wins). But if the salad made you feel happy, I say, eat more salads!

You might consider taking a prenatal vitamin if you're not already. I find I generally feel better when I take mine.

Another thing you should watch out for with iron deficiency is what people often call, "pregnant brain"--can't think straight, remember simple things (like where your keys are or even how to get home!). I had this problem until my dd turned 2 and I got pregnant and started taking prenatals again.

Take care!

peace, Beth
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#3 of 5 Old 05-19-2003, 07:09 PM
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Food Sources(from

The best food sources of easily absorbed iron are animal products, which contain heme iron. Iron from vegetables, fruits, grains, and supplements (non-heme iron) is harder for the body to absorb. If you mix some lean meat, fish, or poultry with beans or dark leafy greens at a meal, you can improve absorption of vegetable sources of iron up to three times. Foods rich in vitamin C also increase iron absorption.

Some foods decrease iron absorption. Commercial black or pekoe teas contain substances that bind to iron so it cannot be used by the body.

Consider the amount of absorbable iron in a food, not just the total iron content. Iron sources that have high iron availability include the following:

Lean red meat (especially beef)
Poultry, dark red meat
Iron-fortified cereals
Dried beans
Whole grains
Eggs (especially egg yolks)
Dried fruits
Dark leafy green vegetables
Reasonable amounts of iron are also found in lamb, pork, and shellfish. Non-heme iron is found in the following:

Whole grains
brown rice
lima beans
dried beans and peas
kidney beans
Brazil nuts
Dried fruits
dandelion greens
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#4 of 5 Old 05-21-2003, 04:46 AM
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I had irritability and kind of a down feeling and then realized that these were symptoms of low iron and I noticed that adding iron fixed it. Maybe it's all in my mind, but I don't think so. I was having problems with tongue soreness as well, which I read was related.
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#5 of 5 Old 05-21-2003, 09:47 AM
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I think I'm gonna e-mail this thread to DH :LOL. Last time I went for a prenatal, my iron was 7.6. Checked two weeks later, it had only climbed to 8.5. I hate prenatals b/c my body can't really digest them, but I sucked it up and started taking them again. I'm still not feeling 100%, though. It'd be nice if he'd realize that sometimes there's more than just my being a *itch going on, ya know?!?

Charlotte, midwife to some awesome women, wife to Jason, and no longer a mama to all boys S reading.gif('01), A nut.gif ('03) S lol.gif ('08) and L love.gif ('10).
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