Ways & How

How to Reduce Iron Levels

How to Reduce Iron Levels

Our bodies need iron to ensure efficient flow of oxygen in the blood to all parts of the body that need it. It is essential for good health and for sustaining life. Low levels of iron in the blood will inhibit the flow of oxygen and may severely disrupt the normal functioning of the body; it could even lead to anemia.  However, high levels of iron can also be toxic, which is the number one cause of iron poisoning fatalities in children below six years of age. It is thus necessary to observe good dietary habits in order to avoid having high levels of iron in the body. If you need to find out how to reduce iron levels, the information here may help you.

  1. Lessen your intake of foods that have high levels of mineral iron. Iron is commonly found in foods such as red meat, chicken, liver, eggs, beans, and some fish such as tuna, salmon, cod, haddock and some shellfish. Get in the habit of choosing white meat over red, and avoid eating the seafood mentioned above. Many grains sold on the market, including pasta and oatmeal, may be fortified with iron, so watch your intake of that, as well.



  2. Increase your intake of calcium, which inhibits the absorption of iron in the body. Eat more milk products, green leafy vegetables, oats and cereals (check to see that these are not fortified with iron). Milk products, such as ice cream, cheese, yogurt, are rich in calcium. So are green leafy vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, turnip greens, spinach, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and lettuce. Add herbs such as parsley, basil and oregano. These foods naturally block the absorption of iron, thus assisting the body in keeping unneeded iron out. Not only that, fruits and vegetables are also high in dietary fiber, which help to lower iron levels in the body.

  3. Watch your beverages. Coffee, tea, cocoa and soda drinks that contain phosphorus can help limit iron absorption, sometimes by as much as 80 percent, depending on the strength of the drink and frequency of intake. Acidic juices such as lemonade, orange, tomato juice increase iron absorption, so avoid those. One cause of high iron levels is absolutely avoidable: alcoholism. Too much alcohol consumption damages the liver, making it unable to regulate the absorption of iron. If you drink, cut it out.

  4. When cooking food, avoid using cast-iron cookware. Cast iron releases minute traces of iron into the food that nevertheless contribute to the amount of iron that gets into your body. Use stainless steel or non-stick pots and pans instead.

  5. Do not take iron supplements without the guidance of your health care professional. Common sense dictates that any chemical intake should be done with great precaution, yet so many people take supplements in the belief that these are harmless. Bear in mind that there are always potential side effects to any medication, even vitamins and supplements, so it is best to play safe.

  6. Consult your health care professional. There are conditions that inhibit the body from naturally regulating the absorption of iron, such as hereditary hemochromatosis (a genetic defect where the digestive tract absorbs too much iron) and too many blood transfusions. Under such conditions, advice from your health care professional will go a long way towards keeping your iron levels low.

Our bodies naturally regulate the amount of iron in our blood. If your body is functioning as it should, it will automatically absorb more iron when needed, and excrete the excess. But your body could use your help in keeping your iron level normal. You can do that by following the tips above on how to reduce iron levels.

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