Best Iron Supplements for Anemia, Women, & Vegans

Besides travel, one of my biggest passions is natural health, & all things related to feeling vital & well ~ whether at home or traveling.  And when traveling, I only bring the best-of-the-best, supplements I really feel affect me for the better, & promote my overall well-being & energy levels on the road.  Iron (combined with Vitamin B) is one of those select few supplements I keep in my travel arsenal.  Low iron (& low Vitamin B levels) can lead to fatigue, & that’s something I don’t need or want when traveling.  Because both women & vegetarians, in particular, are more prone to having low iron levels, here are the “Best Iron Supplements for Anemia, Women, & Vegans.”  

Best Iron Supplements for Anemia, Women, & Vegans, Girl Who Travels the World

Though dark, leafy greens have an abundance of iron, many vegetarians still fall short when it comes to iron levels. Women, due to their monthly period, also are more likely than men to have low iron.

How to Know If You Need Iron?

There’s only one way to know if you need an iron supplement or not: & that is to take a blood test.  Testing for iron is quite inexpensive, whether you want to order it as a stand-alone blood test, or as part of your complete blood count (CBC).  Make sure to tell your doctor to check your “Stored Ferritin” levels as well, which gives a more complete picture of your body’s iron levels (in addition to your red blood cell count). 

When I originally had my blood tested several years ago, my doctor told me I was “borderline-anemic,” & this is how I came to discover the best iron supplements for anemia.  In every blood test since then, my iron levels have been in the normal range ~ so for people who think supplements are ineffective, clearly, this isn’t always the case! 

(Now that my iron levels are normal, I take iron supplements 1-2X/week, instead of 3-4X, as recommended by my doctor.)

Symptoms of Low Iron Levels

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Chest pain, fast heartbeat, or shortness of breath
  • Headache, dizziness, or being light-headed
  • Pale skin
  • Cold hands & feet
  • Inflammation or soreness of the tongue
  • Brittle nails
  • Unusual cravings for things such as ice, dirt, or starch
  • Poor appetite

According to the Mayo Clinic, any of the above can be symptoms of low iron ~ & the first four I’d much rather avoid while traveling.  Having cold hands & feet was an odd thing that affected me for years; it certainly wasn’t life-threatening, but it was of concern, especially while in colder climates. 

I tried several iron supplements before finding one that did NOT cause constipation (an unfortunate side effect of many iron supplements): Vitanica’s Iron Extra.  Dr. Tori Hudson, a naturopathic doctor in Portland, created the Vitanica line of supplements specifically for women ~ & I’m a huge fan of them because they don’t have any filler “crap” ingredients in them, instead favoring nourishing botanicals that are highly effective.  Take a look at the ingredients in Iron Extra:

Best Iron Supplements for Anemia, Women, & Vegans, Girl Who Travels the World

In addition to using a high-quality iron source (cheaper ones can leave you constipated), she adds in rich sources of Vitamin C, methylated Vitamin B (the most potent kind of B), folate ~ as well as dandelion, yellow dock, & nettle, which help the body detoxify (particularly the liver).

Best Iron Supplements for Anemia, Women, & Vegans

That concludes our search for the best iron supplements for anemia, women, & vegans.  As Tim Ferriss says, “I’m not a doctor ~ & I don’t play one on the Internet!”  However, I am passionate about helping people find more natural ways to remedy common ailments, & this is what has worked for me.  Seek out a doctor to test your iron levels, & to obtain the proper dosage for iron supplementation, if in fact you are anemic. 

In Good Health!

xoxo Noelia

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