Why Iron is Important

Learn why this mineral is essential and how to make sure you get enough.

Iron is a mineral which is used Njami Njami – Cooking & Recipes to build proteins and enzymes. Iron is essential for many functions. It helps move oxygen around the body. Iron deficiency is a common problem. Learn what iron is and how much you need.

What is Iron?

Iron is the most abundant mineral on Earth. 70% of iron in humans is found in red blood cells, as hemoglobin, and muscle cells as myoglobin. Myoglobin takes oxygen from the body and transports it around, while hemoglobin moves oxygen around.

Two types of iron

There are two types of iron: nonheme and heme. Heme is easier to absorb by the body but it can only be found in animal foods such as meat, poultry, and fish. About half the iron found in these foods is made up of heme. The other half is nonheme. Nonheme iron can also be found in eggs, plant-based foods such as beans and some vegetables, and fortified foods.

How much iron do you need?

The daily recommended allowance for men and women is 8 mg per day, for women who are postmenopausal and for women who are pregnant. Premenopausal women should consume 18 mg per day and premenopausal females need to consume 27 milligrams.

Vegetarians should take iron recommendations 1.8 times higher because the nonheme iron found in vegetarian foods is less bioavailable that heme iron.

Too much or too little iron can lead to problems

Iron deficiency, the most common nutrient deficiency, is the most prevalent. Deficiency is most common in children, pregnant women, and those who are frequent blood donors. Iron-deficiency Anemia can cause fatigue, lightheadedness, dizziness, lightheadedness, and headaches.

Iron can be absorbed through foods, but it is difficult to consume too much. Your body is capable of regulating iron intake. If you don’t have enough iron, it can prevent your body from absorbing more. Supplementing with iron can lead to iron overload. Iron supplements are not recommended for seniors, who have lower iron requirements. Iron overload is more common in seniors and those with hereditary hemochromatosis (a condition that causes an individual to absorb more iron than their body requires).