Iron – Do You Get Enough?
Ever wondered where Popeye got his strength from? Well Iron of course!
Many people have heard about iron. It is a mineral that is naturally present in many foods, added to some food products and available as a dietary supplement. Iron is vital to aid the production of haemoglobin which transfers oxygen around the body. If you do not get enough iron in your diet, this can result in iron deficiency anaemia. A classic example of a diet related disorder. Think about this logically. You will not have enough oxygen circulating your body and this can result in you feeling tired, drained, lacking energy, having a pale complexion and overall not feeling your best.
It is highly preventable by ensuring that you get enough iron in your diet. Those who are most at risk of iron deficiency anaemia include babies greater than 6 months who no longer have iron stores and may be lacking iron in the diet, pregnant women, menstruating women and vegetarians. In saying that it IS possible for everyone to achieve their daily iron requirement by simply making wise food choices.
There are 2 main sources of iron:
- Animal sources: which provide haem iron that is easily absorbed by the body- red meat, pork, chicken, liver, shrimp etc.
- Plant sources: which provide non haem iron. Non haem iron is not as easily absorbed by the body as animal source but it can be helped by eating it alongside Vitamin C. Sources of non-haem iron include spinach, kale, nuts, eggs, raisins, dark green leafy veg among many more.
If you suspect that you are suffering from iron deficiency anaemia you should have your bloods checked by your doctor.