21 Jan 2022

Longford's Laura Thompson on perimenopause and getting enough veg

Longford's Laura Thompson on perimenopause and getting enough veg

Hi everyone and many thanks for all your questions. Once again I have picked the most common topics but will get through as many as I can over the coming weeks.

Many people are very concerned about the coronavirus and wondering if there is anything they can do to help prevent it.

As I wrote in my last article, the most important thing is to wash your hands properly and frequently. Try not to panic and follow the HSE guidelines. As they say, this too will pass!

My first question is from a lady who is struggling to get her iron levels up.

Dear Laura, I am a 48-year-old woman and experiencing extremely heavy periods and as a result my iron levels are very low. I have been advised by my doctor to take an iron tablet but find this is making me very constipated. I am trying to eat more red meat but prefer to eat a more vegetarian diet. Please can you help? Marie

Hi Marie, thank you for taking the time to email me.

First of all, I am suspecting that you are going through the perimenopause. Many women will experience long and heavy periods, sometimes with flooding.

Read also: Longford's Laura Thompson answers your questions: Coronavirus and leg ulcers

If you are not taking any hormone therapy such as the pill or have not got a merena coil fitted, I would recommend taking a herbal remedy called Agnus Castus. This is great for helping to reduce heavy and painful periods. Be sure to follow the directions properly.

Regarding the iron deficiency, I would suggest taking an iron tonic called Floravital. This is a completely natural tonic and is easy on the digestive system. Be sure to take it away from tea, as the tannin in the tea will disrupt its absorption.

Likewise, avoid taking dairy products close to taking it as dairy will do the same.

Take a 1000mg of Vitamin C as this is vital for good iron absorption. Include plenty of green leafy vegetables, lean red meats and eat the dark meat of the chicken as this has double the amount of iron in it than the white meat.

Another good source is fortified breakfast cereals. Wheatgrass powder is also a good source of iron and can be added to juices and smoothies.

I hope this will help to improve your iron levels.

Regards Laura

Dear Laura, I am struggling to get my family to eat vegetables any tips. Lynn

Hi Lynn, thanks for your question. You haven’t told me what ages your kids are but this advice should help you.

When my kids were little my best piece of equipment was my food processor and, in fact, I still use it daily.

Most children are fans of pasta and love tomato-based sauces. Using your processor, blend some carrot, sweet peppers, celery or even a courgette with a can of chopped tomatoes. This is a great way of bulking out Bolognese or lasagne dishes while making them much healthier.

Vegetables like sweetcorn and frozen peas are often liked by children and are super healthy.

When making sandwiches, always include a little lettuce or cucumber diced very finely it is likely to go down better with young children.

Some children love raw vegetables like carrot sticks and they make a great snack with a hummus dip or cream cheese.

The most important thing to remember is always put some vegetables on their plates and they will one day eat it.

Finally, don’t worry too much; children’s taste buds can change as they get older. Just remember, they often mimic us so be sure to eat healthy yourself.

Take care,


If you have a question for Laura, you can contact her at

Read also: Longford's Laura Thompson answers your questions on restless legs and mouth ulcers

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