Understanding Low Iron And How To Treat It

pregancy photo



Often GP’s or midwives prescribe Iron Supplements…however that is just treating the symptoms of a bigger underlying issue.


It takes a lot more to remedy anaemia than just supplementing iron.  To have healthy blood the body needs magnesium, copper, manganese, iodine, zinc and many other minerals, a whole host of vitamins, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C, A , D, Folate and many amino acids.

It has been shown in a large number of studies all over the world, that just supplementing iron does not do much for anaemia.

Often Iron supplements can cause unpleasant gastric symptoms and gut pain.  This is because they encourage the growth of pathogenic iron loving bacteria and have a negative effect on the cells of the gut lining.



It is essential for people with anaemia to have red meats on a regular basis (lamb, beef, game and organ meats in particular) as they are the best remedy for anaemia.  They not only provide iron in the haem-form, the form in which the human body absorbs best, they also provide the B vitamins and other nutrients essential for treating anaemia.

Meats also promote better absorption of non haem iron from vegetables, while vitamin C from the vegetables and greens promotes absorption of iron from meat.

Ensure you eat the fat on the meat.  WHY?  we need the fat to be able to access the nutrients of meat.  Lean meat is difficult to extract nutrients from  for this reason.

Ideally on your plate should be half leafy greens and vegetables.  1/4 should be starchy veggies (potatoes, kumara or pumpkin)  OR gluten free grains (quinoa or rice) and 1/4 meat (approx the size of  the palm of your hand)

An absolute quick remedy of  Anaemia is to eat liver.  Liver is a true powerhouse of nutrition.  Whichever nutrient you take, you will find it in abundance in the liver.  This will do immeasurably more for your nutritional status than the most expensive supplements in the world.

Having liver or other organ meats at least 1 x a week will see you overcoming anaemia very quickly.  This is something to continue and to encourage your children to eat regularly, as children and pregnant women have bigger requirements of iron.

Doesn’t sound appetising?

  • Try grating it to add to other meats such as mince
  • Fry with nitrate/nitrite/sugar-free bacon
  • OR just chew quickly and swallow it down to just get it in there!
  • Adding it cooked to a smoothie is a good option for kids.


Eat plenty of eggs up to 6 a day.  They are one of the most nourishing and easy to digest foods on this planet. Egg yolk will provide you with most essential amino acids, all the B vitamins, vitamin A and D, essential fatty acids, zinc and magnesium (all are essential for absorbing iron)

They are also very high is  Cholin which is a building block for a neurotransmitter called acethycholin which the brain uses for memory and cognitive processes (essential for the baby, breast-feeding and our own cognitive health)

Always have eggs with plenty of greens and sauerkraut  as on their own they are acid forming and can make you tired.  If they’re balanced with alkaline greens you will feel fine.

If you are having organic eggs you could put them in your smoothies raw.  However if non organic, cooking is recommended as non organic chickens have weak immune systems and can harbour salmonella.  Cooking destroys Salmonella.


Also try making bone broth….use the bones of a chicken / beef / lamb / fish bones,  roast in the oven then slow cook overnight (recipe below).  Our bones are our mineral storage houses.  This same goes for animals, when we slow cook the bones the nutrients and minerals such as zinc, iron, calcium, magnesium etc come out of the bones into the broth water. It is a very nutrient dense drink.  The broth also contains collagen and gelatine which is essential for optimal gut health (it heals and seals the lining of our gut).  Drinking several cups of this a day with meals helps us heal and seal the lining of our gut, so we can absorb the iron from our food.  Bone broth creates optimal digestion.  We constantly need to be striving to maintain optimal gut health, so bone broth is a drink you want to have regularly throughout your life.

” A well functioning gut with healthy gut flora holds the roots of our health.  And, just as a tree with sick roots is not going to thrive, the rest of our body cannot thrive without a well functioning digestive system”

Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride MD (Neurology and Nutrition) GAPS diet


Its fermented cabbage, used traditionally in Germany this is a wonderful food that provides many health benefits.

Sauerkraut is a wonderful healing remedy for the digestive tract full of digestive enzymes, probiotic bacteria, vitamins and minerals.  Eating it with meats will improve  digestion as it has a strong ability to stimulate stomach acid production.

Eating sauerkraut will ensure you get all the iron out of your food and will also provide you with beautiful gut bacteria.

For pregnant women consuming fermented food such as sauerkraut is essential as the babies gut is cultured when it comes down the birth canal and swallows the good bacteria from inside the mother.  If the bacteria in the mother is unhealthy this impacts on the babies gut health.

By trying these tips for Iron deficiency you will overcome anaemia and many other health complains that are associated with malnutrition.

Thanks for taking the time to read the Nourish Blog


x x x

Abby Soares
Registered Nurse | Nutritionist | Health Coach
Nourish Holistic Health & Nutrition
4735311 | 0272766268 | www.nourishholistichealth@wordpress.com | 





1 chicken carcass (organic if possible)

Water to cover chicken

Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar

Himalayan mineral salt 2 teaspoons


Put chicken bones in slow cooker on low. Cover in water till cooker is full. Add 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar and 2 teaspoons of sea salt or Himalayan mineral salt. Cook on low overnight Turn off slow cooker in the morning when cooler pour through the sieve. Drink Bone broth as often as possible at least once to twice a day.


3 thoughts on “Understanding Low Iron And How To Treat It

  1. What are your thoughts on EBF babies struggling with wind/gas/farts at 2-3 weeks old. Seems very common but I don’t understand how mother nature’s perfect food (breastmilk) can cause a little baby so much pain and discomfort.

    • Yes its so hard isn’t it when babies are getting sore tummies. However that is a big sign that the digestive system is not functioning optionally, either because they have not acquired as much good bacteria as they should have at birth or because they are reacting to foods that are in the breast milk that Mum is eating. The foods that are usually the most problematic are dairy and gluten. So I would suggest changing your milk to either coconut milk or almond milk and swapping out foods that contain gluten i.e. bread, flour, crackers, cakes, muffins, cereals etc. Eating whole foods substitutes are much more nutrient dense and better for mum and baby so eating roast vegetables instead of bread for example. Non glutenous grains would be rice, corn, millet and buckwheat.
      I would also suggest starting both of you on probiotics to increase the good flora. Bioceuticals Baby Biotics is an excellent brand for New Born on wards.
      This is a link to a recent interview I did on gut health, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ob6i4A4zVB8 have a listen you will find some answers there. If you need further support you are welcome to book in with me for a consultation and I can support you to work on the root cause of bubbas digestive issues.
      Hope that is helpful
      x x x

      Abby Soares
      Registered Nurse | Nutritionist | Health Coach
      Nourish Holistic Health & Nutrition Ltd
      4735311 | 0272766268 | http://www.nourishholistichealth@wordpress.com | http://www.nourishhealth.co.nz |

      • Thank you for that. I failed to mention I took probiotics throughout pregnancy and am still on them. I gave up dairy in third trimester. And am gf. Actually paleo/grain free except the occasional rice cracker and buckwheat in baking. I don’t eat soy, corn or nuts and quit eggs and chocolate too!!!!! Tried baby bioceuticals but he stopped pooing (amazing weight gain. And poo is always yellow). The tummy pain -most say normal around 2-3wes but I just can’t accept that breastmilk, natures perfect design, would be so painful for these little ones!! (Vaginal birth st home too btw. First baby was fine. Second one baaaad colic. This one very gassy and uncomfortable 😕) I’ll watch the video!

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