Health Benefits of Iron
Iron is one of the most common minerals and for that reason it is essential for the functioning of the human body. It resides within the hemoglobin of red blood cells and is also found in the myoglobin of muscular cells. Iron aids in the transport of oxygen and carbon dioxide. There are many sources for iron, but some people still suffer iron deficiencies from diet, or from a disease.
What Is the Recommended Daily Amount of Iron ? (1)
What Are the Sources of Iron? (2)
The main sources of iron are red meat, pork, poultry, and seafood. It’s also present in dark leafy green vegetables such as kale or spinach, and in beans, and dried fruits. It may also be added to iron-fortified packaged products such as cereals, bread, or pasta. It’s also present in smaller quantities of other green vegetables such as peas, edamame, or broccoli.
What Are Common Iron Deficiency Symptoms?
If the body suffers from an iron deficiency, it means that oxygen is not being adequately carried to the cells. This is why a person can feel fatigued with iron deficiency. They may also have muscular weakness, dizziness, and shortness of breath. They can also feel tingling in the legs, tongue soreness, pale skin, cold hands and feet, fast or irregular heartbeat, headaches and have strange cravings for non-food items.
What Are the Health Benefits of Iron?
- Iron is present in the hemoglobin of red blood cells. About two-thirds of the body’s iron is present in these blood cells. Your body uses it to create the oxygen-carrying red blood cells. Having enough iron present in your body means that you’ll be able to prevent anemia—which is iron deficiency in the blood, or a lack of red blood cells. Basically, if you have enough red blood cells, you’ll have a healthy functioning body.
- Iron has many health benefits, but the main one is that the red blood cells utilize it in delivering oxygen from the lungs to the cells throughout the body. After the oxygen has been delivered to the cells, the iron then aids these cells in taking the carbon dioxide waste back to the lungs. This is where it is then exhaled from the body.
- Iron is essential for people who may be suffering from chronic lung diseases or other breathing issues such as asthma or allergies. It can also be beneficial for respiratory infections.
- Iron has a secondary purpose in that it aids in the chemical reactions that occur throughout the body. This is where the other one-third of the iron in the body goes.
- Iron is essential for athletes who wish to improve their performance, particularly for athletes who are in professional competitions. It’s also beneficial for people who have certain issues such as Crohn’s disease, or they experience depression, or fatigue, or they have been unable to get pregnant.
- Women may also take iron supplements to make up for lost iron from heavy menstrual periods which can cause fatigue or anemia over time, as they’re losing more red blood cells than their body can replace each month.