Let Iron Food Be Thy Medicine

Due to a rare form of bone marrow cancer, my mother has to go for blood work every two weeks. One of the markers they look at is hemoglobin, the storage form of iron in red blood cells. If my mother’s hemoglobin levels get too low, she’ll need a blood transfusion.

A few weeks ago, my mother’s hemoglobin levels were on the border. She was told that next time she came in with the same levels or lower, she’d have to get the transfusion.

She was at my place on a Sunday afternoon when she told me this, and her next blood draw was scheduled for that upcoming Wednesday. I told her to pass by a local health food store on the way home and pick up grass-fed red meat, in particular, liver. It had to come from a clean source though – you don’t want to eat liver from a toxic animal.

So for three days straight leading up to the test, my mother ate red meat (including liver). Sure enough, her hemoglobin levels shot up, well into the safe range, and she had more energy to boot.

Take-Home Message: First and foremost, let food be thy medicine. If you aren’t able to stomach eating liver, then consider taking a liver supplement to increase your iron levels safely without any of the negative side-effects that are often associated with iron tablets. Make sure it’s a high-quality, clean source of liver like the one offered by Vital Proteins.

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