The importance of iron
Are you someone who is always striving to grow and develop? If so, one area of your life that you may want to improve is your health, especially iron. single iron base metal It can do wonders for your mind, body and soul.
It is normally found in red blood cells, and you may also know it by its scientific name, hemoglobin. It helps our cells grow, develop and regenerate as it transports oxygen from your lungs through your red blood cells to other parts of your body.
While iron is essential, it is one mineral that we often neglect when it comes to consumption and a lack of easy access to it. In fact, 23% of pregnant women And 14% of non-pregnant people in the UK have iron deficiency alone.
Although you can get iron from certain food sources, sometimes a supplement is needed to raise your iron levels.
What is the role of iron in the body?
Iron does more than just transport oxygen to your body; It also does the following:
- Helps with healthy hair, nails and skin
- Improves Cognitive function
- Converts blood sugar into energy
- It increases your physical performance
When might you need more iron?
Iron deficiency is not an uncommon problem; In fact, it is the most common Undernutrition around the world. If you have a lack of iron in your body, this is known as iron deficiency anemia and occurs when your body does not have much iron.
The main symptom of iron deficiency is extreme fatigue and dizziness. These symptoms can happen to anyone of any age, including children and pregnant women. However, the people most likely to develop iron deficiency anemia are those on dialysis.
Here are some typical symptoms of iron deficiency:
- Paler skin than usual on the eyelids, face, and other areas of the body.
- Shortness of breath due to lack of oxygen
- Heart palpitations due to the heart working more quickly to pump oxygen
- Damaged hair and dry skin
- restless legs
- Briggley nails
- Frequent infections
Iron deficiency often causes red blood cells to be destroyed faster than the body can produce them. For this reason, you must stay on top of your iron levels at all times.
How to prevent iron deficiency
In the initial stages, iron deficiency anemia can be very mild and can go unnoticed. But once it develops, it can get worse, and symptoms can affect your daily life. Therefore, it is necessary to protect yourself from iron deficiency.
Often, a doctor will recommend a blood test when you have an iron deficiency. This blood test checks the number of red blood cells and sees if there are any low levels of iron. If there are low levels, they will likely recommend iron tablets or iron supplements Nutritional supplements. Sometimes, the following side effects can be associated with iron tablets, namely:
- stomach pain
- black stools
- feeling sick
Besides taking supplements, you can also eat iron-rich foods to reduce your risk of iron deficiency.
What are the best foods that contain iron?
When it comes to eating iron-rich foods, there are two types of diet you can follow, and they are:
This iron comes from animal products such as beef, lamb, chicken, goat, and fish. Heme iron is a form of iron that your body can easily digest and that can lead to significant improvements in your iron levels. When taking blood iron products, it is best to eat parts of the body such as the kidneys and liver.
Conversely, non-haem iron can be found in plant and animal products such as pulses, beans, and lentils. Iron-fortified breakfast cereals and wheatgrass are among the best sources of nonfat iron. You can also find iron-rich foods in dark green leafy vegetables such as cabbage and broccoli, potatoes, nuts, and dried fruits such as apricots.
What are other food sources of iron?
If you really want to live an iron-rich and healthy life, you should try adding the following to your diet:
- Red meat
- Dark leafy vegetables
- the bread
To avoid iron deficiency anemia, you should avoid foods and drinks that make it difficult for your body to absorb iron. Such foods and drinks as milk, tea, coffee, egg whites, fibrous fruits and more.
Furthermore, if you find iron-rich foods difficult to eat, you may want to consult your local doctor or nutritionist for advice.
In general, iron is a vital mineral that your body needs to transport oxygen throughout the body and convert sugar into energy. Surprisingly, iron deficiency is one of the most common deficiencies in the UK, and it can happen to anyone.
To stay on top of your iron intake, you should aim to eat iron-rich foods and even take supplements if necessary. However, if you feel you are experiencing pale skin, heart palpitations, anxiety, depression, swelling, restless legs or any other symptoms, you should speak to a healthcare professional.
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