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Iron - Why and How

Iron is an essential nutrient to consider when managing infertility for males and females.

Why is Iron so important?

  • To make: healthy oxygen-carrying red blood cells; melatonin; energy and to fight infections.

  • Fertility: hormone metabolism, oocyte quality, endometrial receptivity & male sexual function.

Low Iron Signs & Symptoms:

  • Fatigue

  • Cold feet and hands

  • Dizziness Short of breath

  • Insomnia

  • Nails - no moons or pale

  • Tongue- red

  • Skin - pale

  • Hair - poor growth

Iron Rich Foods:

Lean Beef, Lamb, Pork

Dark chicken Mussels, Oysters, Sardines, Cod


Dried Apricots, Figs, Dates, Peaches Currents, Sultanas and Prunes


Wheat germ, bran and bread

Soy flour

Rye biscuits

Weetbix and All bran

Parsley, Spring Onion Spinach, Silverbeet, Lettuce, Peas, Leek and Broccoli Tops

Raw mushrooms

Almonds, Brazil nuts, Hazelnuts, Walnuts, Lentils

Note: Animal iron foods (haem iron) are more easily digested than plant-based iron foods (non-haem iron).

Dietary Suggestions:

Eat foods rich in Vitamin C at the same time as Iron rich foods such as: Citrus fruit, capsicum, blackcurrants, strawberries, broccoli, guava, parsley, pawpaw, pineapple sprouted beans, kiwi, tomato, and aloe vera juice.

Increase bitter foods with your meals to aid digestion such as: kale, rocket, spinach, kelp, and silverbeet.

Soak oats and muesli overnight, and do not consume them with Iron foods or supplements.

Avoid antacids, wine, or tea and coffee with meals - have one hour after a meal.

Assess calcium intake, too much, or at the same time inhibits absorption.

Do not supplement at the same time with magnesium, calcium or zinc.

Assess copper intake and levels to assist iron absorption.


Supplementation: should only occur after testing and prescribed by a health professional.

Naturopathic supplements are easily absorbed than retail ones, however, if you are having absorption issues, this still may not resolve your lack of Iron.

Serum Iron: measures how much iron is in the serum of the blood.

Transferrin: Is a protein transporter in the blood that moves iron throughout the body and can indicate whether there are issues with transportation. Reduced levels may be seen with inflammation.

Saturation: Indicator how much iron is bound to the blood protein transferrin.

Is a helpful indicator of potential iron overload or deficiency.

Ferritin: Reflects Iron stored iron in the liver.

Carissa McAllister is a degree qualified Naturopath with a Bachelor in Health Science. She has a special interest and is passionate about Fertility Naturally, Super Mums Naturally as well as Disease Management and Prevention. Carissa is available on Bribie Island and Morayfield and is also available online via Zoom.

To book a free discovery phone call with Carissa, follow the link below:

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