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29 May 2011

Fresh fruit and veg juice
Good day,
I was diagnosed with hemachromatis a couple of months ago, since then I am a regular (every 57 days) blood donor. I want to take a glass of freshly made juice each day which consist of beetroot, carrots, apple and ginger. As I have read that beetroot contains a lot of iron, do you think it could be harmful to me?
Please let me know and if it is harmful for your kidneys as well?
Thank you so much for your advice.
Answer 413 views

01 Jan 0001

Dear Lorraine
I am sorry to hear that you were diagnosed with haemochromatosis, which is a difficult condition to live with. I hope that you have received counselling not to eat large quantities of foods rich in iron such as organ meat, red meat, chicken, fish, egg yolk, iron-fortified cereals or bread (all maize meal and bread in SA is fortified with iron nowadays), among other foods, and not to take any multivitamin or mineral supplements that contain iron. I also trust that you are being treated with medications such as iron chelating agents to reduce the level of iron in your body? Donating blood is one of the best methods of lowering the iron levels in the body. The juice you intend making should not be rich in iron because according to the new SA Food Tables, the iron content of the ingredients are: raw beetroot = 0.8 mg iron/100g; raw carrot = 0.9 mg/100g; raw apple = 0.3 mg/100g; ginger root = 0.8 mg/100g. I am not sure where the idea that beetroot is rich in iron originated, but if one compares the iron content of 100g of raw beetroot (you would presumably use less for your glass of juice) which is 0.8 mg, with the iron content of beef fillet which is 3.3. mg iron per 100g or 18.3% of the adult RDA per day, then beetroot is not very rich in iron. Let's say you use 50g of beetroot, carrot and apple plus 10g of ginger for your juice, then the juice would contain 1.08 mg iron, which represents 6% of the adult RDA for iron. It may be prudent to only have your juice every second day so as not to increase your iron intake via this route. If you require dietary guidance on how to lower your dietary iron intake, please consult a registered dietitian (visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area).
Best regards
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