What is Iron? - My Bariatric Solutions
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What is Iron?

What is Iron?

Iron is a mineral, and its main purpose is to carry oxygen in the hemoglobin of red blood cells throughout the body so cells can produce energy.

It is crucial to have iron so that your body can create these healthy red blood cells. Iron deficiency is common in bariatric patients undergoing Gastric Bypass surgery due to the altered gastrointestinal tract which can interrupt the normal creation of red blood cells causing symptoms of fatigue, dizziness and weakness.
Other symptoms can include, but not limited to: pale skin and fingernails, headache, restless legs, and low body temperature (feeling cold).

To improve the absorption of iron, eat foods rich in Vitamin C which is found in produce, such as citrus fruits, kiwi, bell peppers or berries. We can absorb three times more iron from animal sources than from plants. If you are mindful to eat a variety of foods, you will most likely consume enough iron daily.

Best Meat Sources:

SOURCE SERVING SIZE mg of Iron
Lean beef 3oz 3mg
Oysters 3oz 24mg
Chicken (dark meat) 3oz 1mg
Turkey (dark meat) 3oz 2mg

Best Plant Sources:

SOURCE SERVING SIZE mg of Iron
Beans and Lentils 3.5oz 3-7mg
Tofu 3.5oz 3mg
Sweet potatoes 1 cup of chunks 2mg
Cashews 1oz 2mg
Dark leafy greens (spinach) cooked ½ cup 3mg
Fortified breakfast cereals Check nutrition label Check nutrition label
Whole-grain and enriched breads Check nutrition label Check nutrition label

Because iron’s important role in our bodies, the following are recommendations for daily supplementation:

Men and Women (no longer having menstrual cycle): 18mg

Men (prone to anemia) and Women (prone to anemia or menstruating women): 45mg

See our online store for Bariatric Advantage and Bariatric Fusion iron options at MyBariatricSolutions.com and ask one of our dietitians if you have questions.