Iron Deficiency Anemia
Print Friendly, PDF & Email


Why do we need iron?

Global CalgaryIron is a mineral that is needed to produce hemoglobin of red blood cells which transports oxygen throughout your body. If you don’t eat enough iron containing foods you are at risk for iron deficiency or anemia. Signs of iron deficiency include fatigue, sleeping lots but not feeling rested, shortness of breath, low appetite and paleness.


Watch Calgary Nutritionist Andrea Holwegner speak about Iron Deficiency:

Who is at risk for iron deficiency?

meatsYoung growing children that consume a high amount of milk/juice which can limit their ability to get enough solid foods that are high in iron such as meats, legumes and iron fortified cereals are at risk for iron deficiency. Since iron needs are high for teenagers and during pregnancy because of growth and development these are times iron deficiency can develop. Since women lose iron during their menstrual cycles they are also more likely to have iron deficiency than men or post-menopausal women. Vegetarians are also at risk of iron deficiency since overall iron in plant-based foods has lower absorption than in animal based foods. Athletes, especially runners and those that train intensely can also be at risk for iron deficiency.

What are good food sources of iron?

There are two types of iron; heme iron found in animal foods and non-heme iron found in plants. Heme iron is absorbed twice as well by the body and is found in meat, poultry, fish and seafood. Non-heme is found in legumes, nuts, soy foods, iron-fortified breakfast cereals and breads as well as some fruits and vegetables. To increase iron absorption from your foods eat a source of vitamin C such as tomatoes, potatoes, berries, citrus, peppers, broccoli and kiwis.

For more information click here

How much do I need per day?

8 mg/day (men 19 years and older, postmenopausal women)
18 mg/day (women 19-50 years)
27 mg/day (pregnant women 19 years and older)

Should I take an iron supplement?

A multivitamin containing iron is a good idea for all menstruating women. Since iron can be toxic (which is why it is sold behind the pharmacy rather than on the shelf) you should only take an additional iron supplement if your doctor has told you your bloodwork shows that you are low. If you are low in iron the dose needed to be taken in a supplement form is quite high (approximately 60-200 mg per day for adults and 60-100 mg per day for adolescents). To find out what is best for you discuss this with your dietitian or doctor. Typically after 3 months of an iron supplement to treat anemia it is important to get bloodwork done again to reassess your levels.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

As seen in


Success stories

"I am a psychologist in private practice and it is very important to me that my clients have the best care with other health care professionals. For that reason Health Stand Nutrition is my only source for exceptional Dietitians. Andrea and her team provide highly knowledgeable, compassionate, and real world support to my clients who require assistance with food lifestyle. I trust my clients to them and you would be in excellent hands making them part of your health care team."
Adele Fox, Psychologist
“This is the first time I feel satisfied; my cravings have diminished dramatically and I have a whole new relationship with food. I am eating guilt-free for the first time in my life. My energy has also dramatically increased and I feel great!
Rhonda Jenkins, Nutrition Counseling Client
“The Dieticians at Health Stand Nutrition help you to take action on the science behind eating well by making it practical, understandable, and fun. Their office is cozy and not at all clinical or intimidating. I felt like I was sitting down with a really smart, caring friend who wanted to help me make the best choices for my lifestyle and food preferences. They really are the best in the business.”
Marty Avery, Nutrition Counseling Client
“I have come to think of the program as a one stop shopping excursion for everything one needs to know about creating a joyous relationship with food and our bodies. In a single word, the course has gifted me with freedom from the punishing rigidity of disordered eating, old stories that never were true, and body dysmorphia that did nothing but make me lose sight of a body that has done everything I've asked, despite my careless dismissal of her needs. Now when I look in the mirror I find myself shifting from harsh criticism to gentle gratitude.”
Lynn Haley, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“I spent 3 hours when first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I learned more from my Dietitian about food in those 3 hours than I had learned in all the years of my life. I also love the newsletter, there is always something to learn.”
Peter Whitehead, Nutrition Counseling Client
“I didn’t realize how strong my “diet mentality” was, and all the rules I had in my head about food. I was in a cycle of reward/punish/binge/cringe. I booked with your business very reluctantly, on the repeated advice of my doctor, to get my slowly rising cholesterol levels in check. I thought I knew everything about food, and my behaviour with food, but I was definitely re-schooled. My weight is creeping down, I feel good about my diet, exercise, body image, and lifestyle.”
Amy Floyd, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Thanks Andrea for an amazing presentation, I have heard all positive remarks from attendees and the evaluations show the same sentiment. It is really gratifying when a speaker does their “homework” and weaves in our profession’s day to day challenges within their content, you did an awesome job of this! You truly took the “die” out of Dietician! Your information on healthy eating and simplifying how we can work towards this as we are all so busy really hit the mark. Andrea connects very well with her audience; she is energetic, funny, and very approachable.”
Carole Ann LaGrange, Transfusion Medicine Safety Officer

Event Planner for Laboratory Diagnostic Imaging Annual Event

I am a family physician who sees patients with a myriad of eating concerns – from wanting to know how to plan healthy meals for active families, to weight loss, to eating disorders, and so on. I cannot recommend the Health Stand team highly enough. I have worked with (and been to!) other Dieticians in the past and too often find that they just ask for food logs and make suggestions that are easily obtained online or in books. The Dieticians at Health Stand offer much more than just telling clients what they “should be eating.” In contrast, the team really does more of a counselling practice, and they work hard to help their clients learn more about why their eating habits may be off track and not optimal for them, as well as helping people to effect change at a deep level that, most importantly, is sustainable for lifetime health.”
Dr. Deb Putnam, Family Physician

Nutrition Counseling Client & Referring Physician

“I am a busy mom, with kids in high level sports, working full-time downtown, and running our home acreage outside the City. I now have the knowledge and tools I need to plan for and manage the chaos of meal planning.”
Gillian Gray, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“As a construction company, we select speakers who can relate to our industry and its employees. Andrea’s message was delivered with humor and empathy. She makes people feel as though they can make changes without leaving behind every favorite food. Andrea focused her presentation on healthy eating as a way to keep energy high throughout the day. This message and the way it was delivered resonated with our predominantly male, blue collar culture. I would highly recommend Andrea as a speaker for groups such as ours. She will get your message across without alienating anyone in your audience – which is a huge hurdle when trying to introduce a wellness program in the workplace!”
Stephanie Wood, HR and Safety Manager

Fisher Construction Group, Burlington, WA

I found my Dietitian warm, funny, and skilled at teaching nutrition concepts without the overwhelm. The general approach of each session was to mix science with emotion, which was exceedingly effective in helping me shift my perspective on food from one of anxiety to one of joy and curiosity.”
Erin Kronstedt, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Excellent presentation! What a refreshing change to have a speaker inspire rather than “lecture” about nutrition. Your captivating stories, tips and overall approach to healthy eating uplifts and puts people at ease. It was great to hear we don’t need to strive to be perfect eaters, and that small changes really can make a difference in how we feel and in our health. Thanks to Andrea, we have solutions to our everyday nutrition challenges that can actually work in real life!”
Tina Tamagi, Human Resources

ARC Resources Ltd.

“Had I not joined this course I would have struggled with no focus, low energy, and mindless eating. Excellent teaching and motivation. This is not just a course, it is a nutrition club with mentorship, support, and connections with other people with similar situations.”
Lorri Lawrence, Pursuit of Healthiness online course participant

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This