Iron is a double-edged sword. If we don’t absorb enough, we risk anemia, but if we absorb too much we may increase our risk of cancer, heart disease, and a number of inflammatory conditions. Because the human body has no mechanism to rid itself of excess iron, one should choose plant-based (non-heme) sources over which our body has some control. This is another reason why Plant Protein is Preferable For more on iron, see Iron During Pregnancy and Are Iron Pills Good For You
Iron and Dementia
In the US iron deficiency has been found to be a major problem in people of all ages. Everyone knows the lack of iron causes anemia. Iron is the center of our red blood cells, which allow oxygen to be carried throughout your body and into your brain. Your brain uses over 20% of the oxygen available in the blood. Lack of oxygen has a major impact on your brain’s health and in the formation of dementia.
When a person is deficient in iron, they may have difficulty in keeping a conversation or in keeping a good attention span.
The actual ability to absorb iron into your body is dependent on the amount of acid you have in your stomach. If you have acid reflux or heartburn and are using drugs or antacids to get relief, you are affecting your ability to absorb iron.
To absorb iron, the pH in your stomach has to be normal, 1 – 2 pH. Under these conditions, iron in your stomach chemically reacts with other chemicals and is prepared for absorption in the small intestine.
When you take drugs to reduce the acid in your stomach, the iron does not chemically react and change for proper absorption in the intestine. The result is iron deficiency.
Here are some of the best foods that have iron.
Fired liver, fried kidney, fired chicken liver, wheat bran, ovaltine, coco powder, spinach, parsley, radishes, peas, leeks, carob bar, sesame seeds, pistachio nuts, dried coconut, cashew nuts, muesli, cornflakes, oatmeal, brown rice, total cereal, baked potato
Use 25 to 50 mg of iron supplement daily. If you take iron supplements check with your doctor to see if you really need them. Take excessive iron can result in poisoning. Keep iron supplements away from children
The B-vitamin folic acid and B12 have also been a major problem in the US. B12 has been consistently found deficient in people with Alzheimer’s. Folic acid and B12 have been found to improve mental health in people who were in metal institutions.
Folic acid and B12 work to produce neurotransmitters and replace nerve cells. The lack of neurotransmitters is responsible for loss of a good memory.
To make sure B vitamins work for you in keeping your mental capacities in tack start making sure you are getting them in your diet or taking them as a supplement. If supplementing, use the B50 or B100 complex.
It appears that after a certain age B12 will not help in alleviating mental changes or problems.
Here are some the best foods that have B vitamins.
* fish and seafood
* whole grains breads, cereals, oats, and barley
* chicken, beef, eggs
* most leafy green vegetables, avocados
* cheese, milk and yogurt
* beans and peas
* oranges, lemons, grapefruits
* various nuts
It is always best to get your minerals and vitamins in food. In food, minerals and vitamins are combined with other chemicals that allow your body to absorb them better than supplements.
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