Of course, you’re already aware that your body requires many vitamins and minerals to keep it thriving. Of these, iron is among the most critical that your body needs. Iron makes up a large part of hemoglobin, a key protein that carries oxygen throughout your entire body. This mineral also helps your muscles store and use oxygen and plays a major part in the creation of other proteins and enzymes. As you can see, iron is important for the whole body – that's why an iron deficiency can give you many symptoms.
Oxygen and Hormones
Iron is necessary for growth and development in the body. This mineral helps make up hemoglobin (a protein in red blood cells which carries oxygen around the body) and myoglobin (a protein which supplies oxygen to muscles). In addition to these key blood-supporting functions, your body also needs iron to make some hormones.
Women are particularly prone to iron imbalances. One of the most common causes of anemia, a condition in which your body lacks enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen around your body, is an iron deficiency which lowers the quantity of hemoglobin in your body. This condition especially affects women who are pregnant, menstruating, or who have just given birth.
Are You Iron Deficient?
An iron deficiency can only be confirmed with a blood test, but signs of an iron deficiency may be so mild that they may go unnoticed at first. Symptoms may intensify the longer the iron deficiency persists. These pesky symptoms can include extreme fatigue, pale skin, weakness, chest pain, headache, dizziness, cold hands and feet, and poor appetite.
Is an Iron Supplement Right for You?
The good news is that iron is relatively easy to obtain through a healthy diet. Beans, lentils, leafy greens such as spinach and kale, dried fruits, broccoli, and nuts are all healthy dietary sources of iron. Even dark chocolate contains 3.3 mg of iron per ounce! Adult men and women over the age of 50 require 8.7 mg per day of iron, while women ages 19 – 50 require 14.8 mg of iron per day.
If you have problems absorbing iron, are under too much stress (which depletes iron stores), or still struggle to reach a healthy intake of iron through your diet, iron nutritional supplements are available that can help improve your iron intake.
When looking to add any nutritional supplement to your daily health regime, look for a trusted company with high quality standards to ensure you have full confidence in the safety and purity of the product you are consuming. Look for a company which is transparent and trustworthy with a history of excellence.