Iron is a vital mineral that our bodies need for many different functions. And for those of us struggling with hair loss, adequate iron stores are ESSENTIAL.
Experts suggest that many types of shedding can be stopped – or at least reduced – when we improve our iron levels.
The problem is that many of us just don’t consume enough.
If you’ve ever used a food tracker such as MyFitnessPal or Spark People, you’ve probably noticed that the daily iron goal is the hardest to meet! (The ‘fat’ goal is – sadly – the easiest!)
And whilst the best source of iron is red meat, more and more of us are having ‘meat-free’ days, or foregoing meat altogether. This leaves us woefully short of the iron intake our bodies need.
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Please note: This information is meant for guidance purposes only and you should always discuss your iron requirements with your doctor. Please note that the Lucky Iron Fish is not suitable for people with hemochromatosis, or for babies under 12 months (purely because it hasn’t been tested for infant use).
Also, make sure you take the free hair quiz further down in this article.
Iron supplements don’t suit everyone
If you’re struggling to meet your recommended iron intake, your doctor will likely recommend iron supplements. Unfortunately, these often cause unpleasant side effects such as stomach pain, constipation and heartburn.
(They usually turn your poo black too!)
But there’s a better way to get the iron you need each day…
…and that’s by using the multi-award-winning Lucky Iron Fish!
He’s cute, lasts for 5 years and is the cheapest, safest and easiest way to get more iron into your diet!
The Canadian-made Lucky Iron Fish is a chunk of specially formulated iron.
To use him, you simply pop him into 4 cups (or 1 litre) of water, along with a few drops of lemon juice or other acid. You then boil him for 10 minutes.
The acid helps release iron FROM the fish and INTO the water.
You can then use the iron-rich water to make non-caffeine drinks, or to cook foods like rice and stews.
It’s such an amazingly simple concept, yet has already made a difference around the world to people affected by iron deficiency. This fact is supported by a great deal of research into this fab fish, which is listed here.
How to use the Lucky Iron Fish
The manufacturers recommend that you check with your doctor before use.
That being said, it would take a great deal of misuse for the Lucky Iron Fish to be harmful in any way (according to their website, you would need to boil multiple fish for a long time to overdose on iron, in which case the water would taste too horrible to drink anyway!).
The correct instructions are to…
- Wash with soap and water before use.
- Take 4 cups (1 litre) of water.
- Add a few drops of ‘acid’. You can use lemon, lime or tomato juice, or even vinegar (apple cider vinegar has other great health benefits too). Don’t be tempted to use more acid than this, or the water may end up tasting too iron-y.
- Boil the water for 10 minutes, then remove the fish with tongs (he’ll be HOT) and dry thoroughly. I find that if I remove him whilst the water is still boiling, he’s so hot that the water evaporates off him almost instantly! But if not, take care to dry him or he will rust.
- Drink the water at least three times per week, but preferably daily. Alternatively, use the water to make rice, quinoa, stew, or any meal where you will be actually consuming all the water.
If you add your fish to a stew containing tomatoes, then you DON’T need to add extra acid. But do remember to take him out after 10 minutes.
Don’t use the fish in pressure cookers or slow cookers.
Can I use the fish to make tea and coffee?
It’s not recommended.
That’s because there are substances in tea and coffee that stop your body from absorbing iron properly. This defeats the object of using the fish in the first place!
Instead, use your iron-rich water to make caffeine-free drinks, or simply drink the water as it is!
What happens if the fish gets rusty?
Then you simply clean off the rust with soap and water and you can continue to use him. You can buy a special cleaning kit from Amazon, or try coating him with a layer of coconut oil after use to protect him.
How to tell when he needs replacing
The makers recommend replacing the Lucky Iron Fish when his smile fades!
The iron will wear away over time and the amount released into the water will be insufficient by this point (generally after 5 years of use).
The (many) advantages of using the Lucky Iron Fish
- The iron-rich water is suitable for vegans and vegetarians, providing a great way to regularly consume iron when meat isn’t an option.
- It’s safer and more gentle than iron supplements, avoiding the uncomfortable side effects that go with them.
- Because the amount of iron released is safe and consistent when used as directed, you cannot get too much iron (a serious condition known as iron overload).
- It doesn’t affect the taste, smell or color of food and is barely noticeable if you drink the water straight. I like to add slices of fresh lemon to my water anyway, so that’s the only flavor I can detect.
- Considering that one fish will last you 5 years, it’s incredibly cost effective!
Improve your iron levels AND those of a family in need
Another wonderful thing about this fabulous fish is that when you buy one, another one is donated to a family in need somewhere in the world.
Through the ‘Buy One, Give One’ model, the Lucky Iron Fish Enterprise donates the fish with the help of its non-profit partners. Its aim in doing so is to tackle the problem of iron deficiency worldwide.
It’s good to know that you can improve the health of others along with your own.