What do you do when fatigue becomes an all-too familiar thing? To find out, we teamed up with natural health brand Flora to break it down with the help of two nutrition experts.
First things first, you should narrow down the possible triggers, says Christina Figueroa MS, RD, CSSD, LDN, a sports and performance registered dietician at Amplify Wellness + Performance. That includes taking a look at medical records and blood work to rule out lifestyle factors—such as sleep, diet, and alcohol use—as well as hormone irregularities that could be causing your energy slump.
You could be looking at a common nutrient deficiency: iron.
If you're still feeling wiped, you could be looking at a common nutrient deficiency: iron. "Iron is an extremely important mineral as it helps our body produce red blood cells and transport oxygen throughout the body," says Figueroa. Little-known fact: It's also one of the most common nutritional deficiencies in adults, causing fatigue and tiredness you can't shake. Menstruation, pregnancy, and poor gut health are all possible factors that could exacerbate this for women.
The first step is loading up on iron-rich foods like dark leafy greens and fruits—and veggies high in vitamin C that can help support iron absorption. Second step? Supplements, like Flora's Floradix® Iron + Herbs.
"Taking a supplement would be warranted if dietary interventions and changes have failed to correct the low iron, if iron is severely depleted (anemia), or if the client is having a difficult time meeting the recommended iron needs, for example during pregnancy, or malabsorption," Figueroa advises.
Keep reading to see if you could benefit from an iron boost.
The essential mineral you might be lacking
You may not think about iron frequently (or ever) outside of your annual physical, but it's a major player in your wellbeing. Iron is an MVP in the production of hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells responsible for carrying oxygen from the lungs to every cell in your body.
"Red blood cells will not be able to carry oxygen as efficiently," says Kaitlyn Clarke, DC, chiropractor and clinical nutritionist at Urban Wellness Clinic. "Because of this, one of the first signs of iron deficiency is fatigue and tiredness."
Consult a doctor or registered dietician to verify if you're experiencing low iron levels. "Considering the sleep-deprived and busy world that we live in, it could be difficult to separate if you are simply 'burned out' or if there is a nutritional issue at hand," Figueroa says.
What to look for in an iron supplement
If an iron supplement is right for you, opt for a high-quality (that is to say, vigorously lab-tested) liquid iron supplement. Flora's Floradix® Iron + Herbs—formulated with potent extracts from carrot root, stinging nettle herb, and spinach—fits the bill.
"Studies show that natural liquid iron supplements have more bioavailability than tablets," Clarke says. "Liquid supplements are typically absorbed quicker and more efficiently."
"Liquid supplements are typically absorbed quicker and more efficiently."
The iron in the Floradix® liquid formula is ferrous gluconate, a naturally sourced iron compound. According to Figueroa, that's very much a good thing. "Supplements should be taken in the 'ferrous' form, which is absorbed more readily than supplements in the 'ferric' form," she says.
Plus, Floradix® is also rich in B-vitamins. "B vitamins serve as co-factors in almost all processes in your body," Clarke says. "They literally help with the functions that turn the food you eat into energy." Hello, plant-powered energy boost.
Top photo: Stocksy/ BONNINSTUDIO
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