What Is Iron & Why Do We Need It?
What is Iron?
Iron is an essential mineral for transporting energy, in the form of oxygen, around your body. It’s mainly stored in the red blood cells, but can also be in your liver, spleen and bone marrow.
There are a number of reasons why your iron levels might fall low. Your diet may be lacking the foods that contain it. You might have blood loss, such as through menstruation. Or your body might suddenly need increased levels of iron, due to pregnancy or intensive physical training.
Why your body needs Iron
ron provides the energy needed for healthy brain function and ensures that your muscles, including your heart, work effectively. If you’re low in iron, you may feel fatigue, short of breath, irritability, have pale skin or lips, mental confusion or poor memory.
Dietary sources of Iron
Good sources of iron include red meat, liver, kidneys, seafood and poultry. You can obtain iron from non-meat sources like eggs, wholegrains, fortified cereals, beans, peas, lentils, nuts, seeds, green leafy vegetables and dried fruit. However, the type of iron these foods contain is not easily absorbed. Vitamin C can help the body to absorb iron.
Supplements are the simplest, most convenient way to maintain the daily iron levels that your body needs.
Always read the label, use only as directed. If symptoms persist, seek advice from your healthcare professional.
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Published March 24, 2014
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