with Cathy Burkemper

Holiday Overeating?

Iron Deficiency Anemia

Q: Help!  The holidays are here and I know I am going to overeat.  Any suggestions?

A: Everyone is worried about over indulging and gaining an extra pound or two over the holidays.  Do you want to enjoy the cookies, candies, great meals and holiday parties without the guilt?  There is good news.  With the help of specially formulated herbal supplements designed to assist weight management by dissolving and absorbing dietary fats, you can indulge and not gain an extra pound.

Look for supplements that contain chickweed and lecithin, natural emulsifiers that help to metabolize dietary fats.  They should also contain guar gum, pysllium and/or konjac root, which are fibers that help absorb the fats and pull them out of the body via the intestinal tract.  They also help you to feel “more full” as if you just ate something, thereby keeping you from over-eating.

This is a great complement to any weight management program, because it breaks down the fat you just ate, flushes it out of your system and you are able to eliminate it before it ends up on your hips and thighs.

So, eat, drink and be merry!

Q: I have iron deficiency anemia.  What exactly does that mean?

A: Anemia affects your red blood cells.  They carry oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body.  The protein that carries this oxygen is called hemoglobin.  When you don’t have enough iron, you can’t make the hemoglobin, therefore, iron deficiency anemia.  This is the most common type of anemia.

There are several things that can cause this condition:

Diet – Maybe you don’t get enough iron from the foods you are eating.  Red meat and seafood are a great source of iron.  Dried fruits, nuts, blackstrap molasses and whole grains are also good.

Blood Loss – Heavy periods, ulcers, colitis or any other internal bleeding can cause anemia.

Some people simply have an inability to absorb iron.  Your small intestine absorbs the iron in your food.  Milk and antacids can prevent your body from absorbing iron.

Other than adding iron rich foods to your diet, you can take an iron pill.  These sometimes leave people constipated or with heartburn or stomach upset.  I like herbal iron, such as red raspberry capsules, red beet root, yellow dock, chickweed or burdock.  These do not seem to cause any negative side effects, while supplying your body with the extra iron it needs.

This herb information is for health education purposes only.  It is not intended to replace the services of licensed health practitioners.  Consult with a physician for any condition that requires professional care.

Do you have questions about herbs or vitamins?  Send them to Cathy Burkemper, CNHP and Certified Herbalist.  Write to:  Herbs & More, 16021 Manchester Rd., Ellisville, MO  63011.