I've heard and then also read that buckweat does a great job in raising hemoglobin levels, and i did try it and i believe it did work. It's true that i was also on iron (Floradix - herbal iron supplement), but i have a cousin who is a vegetarian, and her hemoglobin was surprisingly higher than the normal range, and it turned out she had eaten only buckwheat for about a week - 10 days prior to the blood test.
In my case, my hemoglobin went from 11,5 (115) to 16,1 (161) after only 2 and a half months of taking Floradix and other supplements to help better absorption, I was also eating a lot of buckwheat, as well as nettle. By the way, nettle is a good source of iron for vegetarians.
My iron went from almost nothing to the middle of the range. I thought not to post numbers, because the range in my lab differes from anything I've read here, but anyway, the range is 6,6 - 26. So, I went from 2,8 to 11,3. MCV and HTC also improved and these fit in the range now. The problem that remains is still low Ferritin, which went from 2,9 to 9,5. Not bad in less than 3 months, I hope
Also, 100 grams of apricots are said to contain as much iron as a serving of read meat does. But there will be a difference in absorption (heme & non-heme iron difference).
If anything good comes to mind (concerning diet), I'll share it with you. But buckwheat is really something you wouldn't want to miss
Thanks for that info I sometimes drink nettle tea and sometimes use the nettle tea as a final rinse after i have finished my shampoo/conditioning when washing my hair. The nettle tea really seems to cleans the scalp (i get quite greasy hair and have to wash it every 2nd day).
That's interesting regarding buckwheat. I have read if you have a gluten intolerance then wheat is out, but buckwheat is ok. I'm not sure why this is. Could be due to buckwheat not being an actual part of the wheat family??? Might have to look that one up.
Apricots also include copper. You need adequate copper for iron absorbtion, but taking copper supplements should not be done along with your iron supplements, they should be kept apart.
Get's quite tricky knowing what to eat, what not to eat together, what to keep apart!!
peace4health--Thanks for your tips and for sharing! I know this sounds stupid. Buckwheat in what form? How do you eat it? FLFLOWERGIRL
That's not stupid at all; and actually I had thought whether buckwheat was as common in other countries as it is here. The one we have at stores here is usually pre-steamed (the color is light brown), so it takes little cooking time. I think the fresh, green buckwhaet, might take a bit longer.
There are a couple of ways to cook it. Add it to boiling salted water (1 part buckwheat to 1,5 part of water), or fry the dry wheat in oil for a couple of minutes and then add hot water, cook on moderate fire. It should take about 10-15 minutes to be ready. Once you turn the stove off, it is advised to add butter/oil to it and to cover and leave it for an hour, in order for it to puff even more and to be more aromatic, I think. But I don't do that.
When you fry it a bit, the wheat is a little "crunchy" when ready. Without pre-frying, it is very soft.
Another way of making it, which is very handy, is to pour hot water on it, cover it and let it stay for about 30 minutes. This way, they say, it retains more vitamis (no wonder). By the way, as far as i know, it's Vitamin PP in buckwheat that makes it good for hemoglobin.
There are people who soak it and leave it overnight, thus having a ready breakfast
I love it with some fresh tomato and basil, and extra virgin olive oil on top. It can also be added to any salads, or eaten along with any soup (not in raw form, but always either cooked or soaked).
By the way, half cup or less of buckwheat is usually enough for two servings, but this depends on your appetitie
If anything is unclear, you're welcome to ask.
As for nettle, when we have it fresh in its season, I cook it a bit, and either make a soup, or just drink the water and use the nettle leaves for something else, like frying with onion and/or eggs.
Yes, dear Audrey-B, it's true that nettle is good for scalp & hair. We have special shampoos with nettle extract, but it's better to use nettle tea (or the water in which nettle had been cooked) for rinsing.
Buckwheat sounds like something i will have to add to my diet. I saw it for sale in one of the shops i was in but wasn't sure how to cook it. Thanks for those cooking tips
I'm still wondering whether it is related to actual wheat or not. I do know it doesn't contain gluten and is fine for people with a gluten intolerance.
I have seen "premade" buckwheat pancake mix too. I'm sure you can buy buckwheat flour in the healthfood store to make pancakes and crepes.
It seems to me the way people once ate was much healthier and there was more variety. No wonder so many of us have a gluten intolerance (and other dietary intolerances) when just about everything we eat has wheat flour in it. It's always good to find things to replace wheat products with and i love the sound of buckwheat with tomato, basil and some virgin olive oil. Yummm
I also recently bought some Quinoa, which can be eaten like rice as a side dish or in soups, salads and stuffings. Quinoa dates back to the ancient Incas. So many things which were once eaten appear to have been replaced by wheat, barley, rye, all which contain gluten which also leads to malabsorbtion of nutrients.
I'm not sure about its relation to actual wheat, but other than iron, it is said to be rich in amino acids, phosphorus, copper, magnesium, as well as vitamins B1, B2, PP, P, and Rutin.
I'd like to ask you a question about your pancreas. I'm not sure if we should move to another board for that, though. If I remember right, you've written in other threads that you were found to be lacking some pancreatic enzymes. I was interested to know what symptoms you had that led your doctor to check your pancreas enzymes, and also what tests you had undergone to find that out.
Hi peace4health - Firstly, i think it's ok to ask non anemia questions if it's possibly linked to anemia. As for my pancreas, i never knew i had a problem and never suspected i lacked in digestive enzymes. I did however get bloating and an extremely "full" feeling in my stomach after eating my meals, particularly lunch and dinner. I found i would be ok if i ate only very, very small meals throughout the day, but when at work, i can't stop every 2 hours to eat. It was like my stomach couldn't digest a normal sized meal, but if i was hungry i'd need a normal sized meal. Other times i would only need to eat a sandwich at lunch time and my stomach would be bloated. I never went anywhere for this. I used to think maybe i had an intolerance to something like dairy or wheat. ( i am a little gluten intolerant, but now that i've been on digestive enzymes i know the bloating was not from wheat)
At my first visit to my thyroid doctor he said we would do a number of tests prior to him medicating me for my thyroid. One of them was a stool analysis test. The test shows if you are digesting your food properly, whether there are any parasites in your system as well as yeasts and other things. This test also shows specifically whether you are digestng protein, carbohydrates and fats correctly as each of those 3 areas will cause adverse symptoms if they are not being digested effectively.
My malabsorbtion of protein is what my doctor thinks has led to my anemia, hair loss and added to my metabolism slowing down. He said a lot of people lack digestive enzymes but are not aware of it. Adequate protein at breakfast time speeds up your metabolism too. Protein is required in so many areas of the body. I also know that somewhere within the thyroid process protein is also required as is in the liver. I did do a liver function test too and my phase 2 liver detox isn't the best either.
There is some informative and interesting reading which you can search for on the net. You can simply look it up under 'malabsorbtion' or you can be specific in what you are looking for such as protein malabsorbtion. It's worth the read. I don't think many doctors check whether their patient is having this problem. a lot of doctors are happy for you to keep taking vitamin supplements and tell you that you dont have a problem. All i know is that the enzymes he prescribed me have helped me so much and i can eat a decent meal and not be bloated and uncomfortable afterwards.
I've also had some bloating recently, which made me go for smaller meals. At times, I find my stomach bloated even a couple of hours after a meal. Besides, from time to time, I feel a little pain in the stomach area, which seems to be "touching" my ribs, too, somehow making me feel emptiness in my entire upper abdomen area. And the pain subsides when I eat something. So I thought pancreas could be involved. Well, the list of things to be tested is becoming longer...
Last edited by peace4health; 08-14-2008 at 12:33 AM.
There are other forms of malapsorbtion which can cause problems. Aside from protein, there is also carbohydrate malabsorption which can cause some not nice side effects eg: bloating, IBS symptoms and flatulence. This happens during digestion of sugars, starches and fiber found in foods such as bread, potatoes, rice, fruits and vegetables. Other carbohydrates include table sugar and lactose, which is mostly found in dairy products. The main one is lactose intolerance, which a lot of people have and is the most common cause of carbohydrate malabsorption.
The problem is that so many different things can cause bloating or pain in the stomach after eating. It can be an allergy to certain food/s or preservatives, colourings, flavourings or it can occur if you are stressed and your system wasn't able to digest food properly. It can be due to something wrong with your digestion process, such as in my particular situation. I have even heard of people who have difficulty with a high fibre diet, which is supposed to be good for all of us.
I used to get told that it must be due to dairy and that i should eliminate dairy. I would go for two weeks without any forms of dairy and it would still be happening. I couldn't work out what was wrong and i couldn't link it to any particular food group. I then thought it was possibly due to a yeast overgrowth in my stomach as i had had that happen to me a long time ago and i wasn't able to absorb vitamins, i felt bloated, had IBS, was tired all the time and it was all due to yeast. So for the last couple of years i was taking probiotics daily, just as a precaution, but they didn't help my stomach situation. The stool test i did also checked for yeast in the stool and there was no yeast present. I'm lucky that this test could check so many different things and now i feel so much better. To think all this time it was protein related.
I'm hoping now that this issue is being addressed that i will more easily be able to absorb iron.
Thank you, dear Audrey, I've slowly started reading about malabsorption. Slowly, because I'm having my period now
By the way, I've read that the anemic have heavier periods, but mine isn't. And usually, it may last even less than 3 full days. Could be because of an ovarian cyst that I have (it comes and goes from time to time). Or, I guess, it's because of the heavy periods that women become anemic, and not vice versa - that the anemic have them heavy...
Hi peace4earth - Happy reading, it's a very interesting topic. The more you read the more you realise how one or more symptoms can cross over and relate to so many different illnesses. That is why i'd advise anybody on the anemia board to do further research as some symptoms which you believe are anemia related actually are not. You only find out they are not anemia related once your ferretin rises substantially and the certain symptoms are still there eg: like me with my thyroid issues.
Today i went to a healthfood store and bought some buckwheat. I bought the raw version and thought i'd reread your post on how to prepare buckwheat
I also bought some buckwheat pancake mix as your post on it was interesting. It's also high in protein and an alternative to wheat products. I also bought a buckwheat pancake mix as i love making crepes or pancakes and eating them with stewed plums (the ones which turn blood red once cooked) and some ice cream.
It was so easy with normal wheat flour, but if i'm going to take this gluten free diet seriously, in the hope of being able to eat wheat again in the future, then i thought i better do something about it. It's not that the wheat products make me sick, but reading that gluten blood tests can give a false positive/negative result worried me a bit and i haven't had the biopsy to check whether my small intestine has been affected. My current and previous doctors both suggested i give the gluten products a miss for a while. Who knows, it might help with my iron and other deficiencies.
ps: forgot to mention that on one of the buckwheat packets it said that it was not related to wheat, but to the rhubarb family. Not sure whether you grow rhubarb in your country? Here we use it in desserts or pies.
I think next time i will try soaking it. As i bought the 'raw' variety i read that it was better to cook it on a little oil first and then boil, but i accidentally burnt it a little. Also i didn't realise just how much one cup of the buckwheat makes..... it makes a lot
I made some chicken and vegetable soup and i put some of the buckwheat in and it tasted good.
Oh well, it's all experience and i look forward to experimenting with it
Must have missed the "half cup" measure No wonder i ended up with enough to feed a third world country!! Oh well, practice makes perfect.
Yes, it's very nice in soup, especially if you make a thick vegetable soup with many ingredients.
My mother grows beets in her garden and i buy them in the shop when they are out of season. I shred them along with carrots and mix them with other ingredients for salads too, sometimes i soak some chickpeas over night and then boil them a little and add them to the salad with some spanish onion.
In summer i also juice fresh beetroot in a juicer along with carrots, apple, orange and some ginger. That is a great tasting juice to drink.