In my last post, I outlined the options and my preferences in my quest to lower my iron stores while I wait for an appointment with a doctor with the knowledge to supervise a phlebotomy regime. Two days later and I've got more things to think about.
1. Green tea.
The advantages of drinking lots of green tea for a medicinal purpose are that it is cheap, easy to make, and can even be bought when out for lunch or dinner. The disadvantage for me, I was noticing rather clearly today, is that drinking 3-4 cups of green tea per day is a lot more caffeine than I normally drink, and I've been getting tetchy headaches and restless legs/muscle spasms. When I found myself craving chocolate this afternoon, it all began to add up to the possibility that the green tea was chelating out magnesium as well as iron. I've learnt from past experience to look after my magnesium levels. Next time I got near the computer, I did some research and sure enough, the tannins in the tea chelate out all minerals. Oops. I ate some chocolate and made a non-tea drink with magnesium citrate powder added to it and started to feel better quite quickly. Indeed, chocolate cures many things.
Yesterday I made roast chicken. I smeared turmeric powder and black pepper all over the skin before cooking it. This also meant that the roast potatoes were cooked in some turmeric and I used some of the roasting liquid to cook the bok choy and peas in as well. It tasted nice and didn't look too radically different from the roast chicken which I normally smear with paprika or cajun spice mix. I took a turmeric capsule as well at dinner time, 'cashing in' on the fat and black pepper in the meal. Cucurmin is the active ingredient in turmeric which has the iron chelating and other health benefits properties, and cucurmin is fat soluble and also known to be more effective when combined with black pepper.
Tonight I peeled and cut up a butternut squash and spread rosemary, chopped garlic, anchovies and slives of halloumi on top, drizzled olive oil all over it and baked it in the oven. I spared the rest of my family a second round of turmeric, but mixed some turmeric powder and black pepper into some full fat yoghurt to have as a dressing with my dinner. I took two turmeric capsules with dinner.
Given the hitches with green tea, I spent some time this evening researching possible problems with cucurmin. So far, it still has the green light. It isn't quite as convenient as drinking green tea, but it may be more worth the effort. I wonder how long the cucurmin is medically active after cooking. If it does last, then I could cook up a garlic and onions and turmeric and black pepper mixture to keep in the fridge and add to most meals.
3. Apple cider vingear (acv)
Laksmi got me into drinking acv in water a couple of years ago. I liked the taste (I drank it fairly weak, to be fair), and it made me feel really good. I've been looking around on the net for information on iron and acv and found mostly nothing at all. Tonight, working on a hunch more than anything, I re-read Heather Twist's Off the Food Grid blog references to acv and found this interesting reflection, in which she speculates that the acv is stripping the precipitates of iron out of places where it should not optimally be. I'd stopped drinking acv recently until I could find out more about its status in relation to iron, but now I'm encouraged to put it back in my water throughout the day again. I had been thinking the acv was significantly if not completely reducing my arthritis because it was stripping calcium deposits and maybe it is, but now I suspect it was possibly iron deposits sitting in my joints all along, and probably now.
Three nights without wine is hardly grounds for a medal, but as with the last time I made a concerted effort not to drink, I do wake up feeling much better after a teetotal night.