With studies equating meat-consumption to be as carcinogenic and cancer-causing as smoking,1 not to mention causing an increased risk of total mortality,2 we’re very happy to keep animal products off our plates.
Occasionally, those who don’t consume the adequate plant foods for iron absorption may find themselves iron deficient. Or perhaps they’re simply prone to anemia, get heavy periods, or just have a hard time absorbing iron. Whatever the reason, when deficient, a lack of iron can cause significant problems, including hair loss, fatigue, headaches, chest pain, muscle weakness, difficulty concentrating, and cold hands/feet. For this reason, The Daily Sprout loves a good trick to boost iron levels without animal products or supplements. Aside from our tried-and-true cast iron method, we use another trick: Turning drinking water into a readily-available, natural, organic source of ferrous iron.
Enter a brilliant little product called a Lucky Iron Fish. There’s no real fish here; just a tiny fish-shaped iron mold that will leach bioavailable (easily absorbed) iron into liquids. By adding the “fish” to a pot of boiling, water, broth, or soup, for ten minutes, along with a few squirts of lemon, one Lucky Iron Fish can provide up to 90% of your daily intake of iron, producing 7mg of easily-absorbed iron. For reference, most diets have between 5-10mg of iron that will be absorbed by the body daily.3
In a randomized controlled study, women using the Fish just three-times per week had blood tests to measure their ferritin levels, which determines how your body stores iron. The tests revealed levels 31 ng/mL greater after 12 months than when before they started using the Fish. This lead to a 46% reduction in anemia.4 This is really remarkable when you think about it!
There many ways to use the Fish, including recipes here, but the easiest way is to boil it in a pot of water with a squirt of lemon or lime. After ten-minutes, pour the water into a pitcher and keep it in the fridge for a glass of iron-rich, organic, readily-absorbed water. Enjoy.