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Vitamin and Mineral Spotlight: Iron

The right vitamins and minerals matter for having the right health. They help your body take on each new challenge and they ensure you have the energy for each new day. But do you know exactly what they can do for your body? Welcome to our vitamin and mineral spotlight series, where we go over the vitamins and minerals that your body needs!

What is Iron?

Iron is an essential mineral in your body for a number of reasons. Just like zinc, iron is a trace element that your body can’t produce on its own, but is vital for normal body functions like:

Producing Healthy Red Blood Cells

The most important job of iron in your body is to make sure that you have healthy red blood cells. Your red blood cells are responsible for carrying oxygen to the rest of your body. A deficiency of iron can often turn into anemia that can cause paleness, dizziness, frequent headaches and general weakness.

It Keeps You From Having Lead Poisoning

This may come as a surprise, but did you know that you sometimes have lead in your system? lead can come from the food that you eat and it enough of it can cause serious complications. Luckily, your body has a way to flush out lead from your system and prevent it from being absorbed in the first place. That process involves iron and iron deficiency can often coincide with lead poisoning

Iron Can Help With Proper Growth

Did you know that a person’s iron needs spike as soon as they hit puberty? The needs of a child grows as they grow especially during puberty. The reason for this higher need for iron is because of how the body starts rapidly creating new tissue, expanding bones, and generally grows in size. This growth needs to be fuelled by higher amounts of oxygen. Iron helps deliver the needed oxygen to growing parts of a child’s body. 

It Indirectly Helps With Preventing Fatigue

Fatigue is a problem that many people may have to deal with on a regular basis. However, what they don’t realize is that fatigue can be the result of a number of underlying problems. One of these problems is that your body isn’t getting enough oxygen delivered to its various parts. Iron helps prevent this by improving your blood’s oxygen and carbon dioxide carrying capacity. Better red blood cells means that you have more oxygen in your system, while also minimizing the amount of carbon dioxide.

Great Sources for Iron

Getting iron is essential to make sure that your body is running at peak capacity. And just like zinc, you need to get it from the food that you eat. Some of the best sources of iron are red meats and blood. Plants also have a trace amount of iron in them, but the iron from plant based food is harder to absorb into your body.

A great iron dish that we can recommend is a pan seared steak with a side of red beans. It’s a fantastic dish that can certainly fill your body’s need for an iron rich meal.