How to Raise Ferritin Levels: 3 Natural Strategies for Optimal Wellness

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How to Raise Ferritin Levels: 3 Natural Strategies for Optimal Wellness

Ferritin is a protein found in your body that contains iron. It plays an important role in maintaining healthy iron levels, as iron is necessary for producing red blood cells and transporting oxygen throughout the body. 

Low levels of ferritin is a sign of low iron stores and can lead to iron deficiency anemia if left untreated. Iron is essential for producing hemoglobin in red blood cells, which carries oxygen throughout the body. If there isn't enough iron to produce hemoglobin, the body cannot produce enough red blood cells to meet its needs. Iron deficiency anemia can cause symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath, pale skin, and dizziness. It is essential to maintain adequate levels of ferritin through proper diet and, if necessary, iron supplementation, to prevent iron deficiency anemia. 

'Does low ferritin make you tired?' is a popular question asked by many in the general public, and particularly by athletes. Low ferritin levels can contribute to fatigue and tiredness, particularly in athletes and individuals who engage in strenuous exercise. When the muscles are injured during exercise, the body needs iron to help repair and regenerate the damaged tissue. This can lead to a depletion of ferritin stores, which can result in fatigue and weakness.

If you're looking to increase your ferritin levels, there are several natural strategies you can try out from home. In this article, we'll outline 3 ways you can boost your ferritin levels, and in turn, support your optimal wellness.

Iron consumption recommendation 

The best way to keep your ferritin reserves at the right amount is to get enough iron through your diet. It is critical to understand how to enhance your ferritin levels by supplementing current ferritin reserves with suitable quantities of dietary iron. The recommended daily iron intake based on age, biological sex, and other factors is: 

  • 8mg/day for men, ages 19+, and women ages 51+
  • 18mg/day for women ages 19 to 50 
  • 27 mg/day for pregnant women, ages 19+
  • 9 mg/day for breastfeeding women, ages 19+

Iron is a necessary nutrient that serves a number of functions in the body. Some of these are essential for life, including oxygen delivery, muscular structure formation, cellular integrity maintenance, and cognitive growth. 

Not getting enough iron through your diet may result in decreased ferritin levels, which can manifest as iron deficiency anemia. To live a healthy life, you must consume adequate amounts of iron according to your biological sex, age, and activity level. Contact your doctor to learn more about ferritin and the appropriate tests you need to take to determine your ferritin levels. 

How to raise ferritin levels?

Your ferritin levels go up when you consume iron. The amount of iron your body can absorb from the meals you eat depends on a number of dietary factors. Understanding this is critical for quickly increasing your ferritin levels, especially if blood tests you've taken show that you don't have enough ferritin  in your body. Here are some key steps you can take to increase your iron absorption;

Greens and fruits

Dark leafy greens and some other vegetables may provide significant amounts of iron to your diet, particularly if you include a few vegetables in each meal. Many vegetables contain vitamin C, which aids in absorbing nonheme iron. While most fruits are low in iron, there are a few exceptions. Consider adding dried fruits and nuts to your next cup of oatmeal to improve its iron content. 

Whole grains

Whole grains are less processed than refined grains, which means that they retain many naturally occurring minerals, including iron. For a nutritious side dish, combine a whole grain with your favorite cooked iron-rich vegetables, herbs and spices, and a drizzle of olive oil. 

Lean meat

Iron comes in two forms: heme and nonheme. Heme iron is found in meat, poultry, and fish, and is the ideal option for swiftly increasing ferritin since your body absorbs heme iron more effectively than nonheme iron. 

Though liver, oysters, and clams are among the richest sources of dietary iron, they’re probably not a part of your go-to meals, and should be consumed in moderation in any case  as liver is high in cholesterol and excessive intake of certain shellfish can lead to mercury toxicity.

Lean red meat is a good alternative and is a good source of iron. A 3-ounce portion of various cuts of beef contains between 2 to 3 milligrams of iron, which is about 10-15% of the daily recommended intake for adults. Other sources of iron include pork chops, chicken breasts, shrimp, canned tuna, and tinned salmon, all of which contain around 2 to 3 milligrams of iron per 3-ounce serving.

Vitamin C

Because vitamin C improves nonheme iron absorption, having foods with both nutrients in the same meal will help you raise your levels of ferritin. Add a side dish of sweet peppers, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, or sweet potatoes for vitamin C, or drink vitamin C-rich orange juice or tomato juice to go with a main dish that is high in nonheme iron like dark leafy greens. 

Combining nonheme vegetables with heme-containing meat, chicken, and fish can also boost your absorption of nonheme iron. On the other hand, milk, dairy products, coffee, and tea should not be consumed with your meal since they can decrease nonheme absorption. 

If you want to keep your ferritin levels at a normal level, make sure that you are getting enough vitamin C. The easiest way to check your vitamin C levels is to take Vivoo’s at home test. They are simple to use, tell you a lot about your body, and they can tell you whether you are getting enough vitamin C.

What about iron supplements?

Excess iron can harm your organs and cause side effects like constipation, heartburn, nausea, and vomiting, so it's critical to follow your healthcare provider's dosage instructions and to pay attention to the form of iron they recommend, as there are many types of iron supplements on the market and not all may be what you’re looking for. 

The best dosage for you will be determined by your baseline hemoglobin, serum iron, and ferritin levels. 

According to some estimates, replenishing your iron reserves may take three to six months by taking 100 to 200 mg of elemental iron daily. Iron deficiency anemia symptoms usually subside after a week or month. 

In summary, the key to increasing ferritin levels is to consume a suitable quantity of iron on a regular basis. However, if your iron intake is persistently low, consult a medical professional to help increase your ferritin levels. 

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