No, not that Iron Chef. I’m talking about my kitchen and my menus. No, I’m not about to announce some sort of “sauté until the death” type of contest (or whatever it is they do on that show; I don’t know, because cooking shows like that annoy me. Give me a good old-fashioned ex-spy-turned-chef show any day, thank you very much). Instead, I’m talking about iron and folate and all that crap in your blood that makes your feet NOT feel like they have constant ice water in them and keeps you strong and alert and all that good stuff.
Without going into the ins and outs of the whole thing, let’s just say that recent bloodwork showed that I have scary-low levels of iron and folate. Scary is actually pretty dramatic, because it really isn’t scary. It’s more annoying. I don’t really feel like I have anemia or iron-poor blood or whatever, but my levels are sufficiently low that they did a whole panel of iron tests and my doctor feels pretty strongly that I need iron infusions.
Except I don’t have the money for that, because, as a self-employed writer who purchases major medical insurance only (essentially, if I go in the hospital or need cancer treatments, it’s covered, but only just) and I can’t seem to cough up the dough for these treatments. Since I’m not pregnant or planning on having anything like a child ever, I can live without higher iron levels.
But I’d like to try and boost these levels through nutrition, so I started looking at what foods have higher levels of heme iron (non-heme iron requires vitamin C eaten in combination with the non-heme sources, so it’s a possibility but even more of a pain in the ass than eating sources of heme iron) and, aside from canned clams, there’s no really one great source of iron.
Over the next few weeks, though, I’ll be experimenting with iron-rich foods. There’s got to be something out there other than linguine with clam sauce, right?