Many people understand that vitamins and minerals are essential in the diet to help the body to work optimally, but do you know the importance of iron in a healthy diet?
Iron deficiency is common. In fact, it’s one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in the United States today, according to the National Institutes of Health. Iron deficiency can be avoided by ensuring you have an iron-rich diet or taking supplements to help boost iron levels in your system.
Here’s what you need to know about iron deficiency and how to ensure you get more iron in your daily meals.
How Much Iron You Need?
Iron deficiency is most common in women who are breastfeeding or pregnant. Women are often more iron deficient than men because they lose blood during pregnancy and menstruation that they simply aren’t regaining through a proper iron-rich diet.
The recommended daily iron allowance for postmenopausal women and men over age 19 is eight milligrams per day. Women who have not yet gone through menopause between the ages of 19 and 50 need 18 milligrams of iron per day. Pregnant women and breastfeeding women should have 27 milligrams per day to ensure they’re healthy.
What Is the Purpose of Dietary Iron?
If you don’t get enough iron, then the biggest risk is that you can develop anemia. The red blood cells in your body that carry oxygen from your lungs to every cell in your body need iron to do the job right. Without iron, the cells won’t produce enough hemoglobin to transport oxygen throughout the body. This can leave you feeling tired, dizzy, cold, and pale.
How to Ensure You Have an Iron-Rich Diet
Your body can obtain iron through a variety of foods, but it’s important to note that for every 10 to 20 milligrams of iron in food, your body can only absorb about one milligram at a time. That means that a balanced diet is what you need to ensure you help ensure your daily iron requirements.
Some foods can also help your body to absorb more iron, such as foods rich in Vitamin C. Pairing your iron-rich foods with Vitamin C in the form of citrus fruits, berries, or tomatoes can help your body. You should avoid foods such as milk, coffee, and tea, however, since those can block the body’s absorption of iron.
What Are Some of the Best Sources of Dietary Iron?
There are a few foods you should consider adding to your diet to ensure you get enough iron. These include:
Pharmics, Inc. offers high-quality supplements for an affordable price. Visit us online or call today to learn more about our variety of options for OTC iron supplements.
Statements on this page have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.