Ferritin

Don’t adjust your screen! I’ll bet you’re surprised to see meat in my feed. No one is more surprised than I, as I’d not eaten it in 10 years.

As mentioned in my post about hair health, ferritin plays a crucial role in the body with regard to blood supply and iron. Hair health is tied to both. And my body was in desperate need.

Early 2019 I visited a Naturopathic dr because I felt like 💩. Symptoms were varied: stubborn weight gain, bloating, inflammation, brain fog, irritability and my hair was coming out in giant clumps in the shower. It’s amazing I’m not bald.

Comprehensive blood labs to the tune of 16 vials showed things like thyroid and hormone funkiness, low selenium and VERY low ferritin. Normal levels of ferritin in women is 20-200ng. Mine was 4.

My 1st question-“wtf is ferritin?” To which he responded by telling me ferritin is stored in the cells until it’s time to make red blood cells. The body sends a msg. to release ferritin, then like a knight in shining armor, brings iron to the organs. It also helps moderate our iron levels. Low ferritin symptoms can indicate conditions like: anemia, weakness, heavy periods, fatigue, irritability and celiac. Did I mention I was diagnosed with celiac at the same time?

My 2nd question- “can I just eat more kale?” His response “You already eat a bunch of kale a day, if you don’t consume heme sources of iron, you’ll have Hashimoto’s (an autoimmune thyroid disorder) within a year.” WTF? I was eating plenty of iron containing foods, pairing it often with lemon as vitamin C increases the “bioavailability” or helps you absorb iron. The difference is that I was eating a lot of non-heme (vegetable) sources of iron. What I needed were heme (animal) sources. Both are good for you, but non heme is less readily absorbed, especially with gut issues. News to me.

I still eat a nutrient dense, mostly plant based diet. But I do incorporate some grass fed/finished animal protein to aid my ferritin level from time to time. My hair and body are loving it.

SOME SOURCES
♥️HEME – Red meat, Legumes – beans, soybeans and lentils
♥️NON HEME – Dark green leafy greens-spinach or kale, Pumpkin seeds

Had you heard of ferritin before today?

RECIPE

CASHEW TAMARI DRESSING (that can be used on anything)

WHAT YOU NEED

  • 1/3 cup evoo
  • 1/3 cup chopped raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup tamari/soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1″ piece of ginger, minced
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice (2 small limes) – bonus if you use the lime zest (if you do this be sure you use organic limes)
  • 2 tsp honey, maple syrup or agave
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced thinly on the bias
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, mint, or parsley
  • Medium pan, knife, cutting board, wooden spoon or spatula

HOW YOU MAKE IT

  • Heat olive oil in a medium pan, add cashews and let them just start to brown.  Add tamari/soy sauce.  It will start to caramelize and cashews will start to brown, about 5 minutes
  • Remove from heat and all the ingredients except cilantro and scallions
  • Stir to combine
  • Garnish with herbs
  • Pour over steak or salad or both. If you are doing just salad, let the sauce cool a bit before using.

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