Iron is an important mineral required by our body. There are many vital functions in the body for which iron is an indispensable medium. Although iron is one of the most common elements in the earth’s crust, human body requires it only in a minute quantity.
An adult body harbours around 2-4 grams of iron. Our body stores the iron and the only way of using it up is its absorption. It is not excreted from the body unlike vitamins.
Dietary iron replenishes the lost iron that is absorbed by the body while performing function necessary for life. Most of the iron i.e. about 75% is found in the blood in our body.
Advantages Of Iron
Benefits And Role
Iron is required for maintaining optimum level of haemoglobin in the body. Haemoglobin or red blood cells transport oxygen to all the parts in the body from lungs.
Iron helps in the production of this haemoglobin. Iron also helps in absorbing the sugar in blood, it is only after the absorption that the body can use this sugar.
Iron also aids and strengthens the immune system of the body. It is an important element in regulating the body’s metabolism.
Iron Mine – The Sources
The requirement of iron is met through the dietary intakes. The iron derived from vegetarian sources is considered a wee bit healthier than its counterpart from Non-vegetarian food items. The plant based iron is absorbed better by the body.
The vegetarian food items that are particularly rich in iron are spinach, other green leafy vegetables, lentils, beans, raisins, cashew nuts, pine nuts, wholegrain cereal and bran.
Amongst the Non- vegetarian, best iron sources are red meat, Mussels, Shrimps, liver of lamb, chicken and pork and eggs specifically the yolks.
Like all other nutritional elements present in the body, it is very important to regulate healthy levels of iron in the body. The ideal dosage of iron is determined by the age, gender and special conditions of the person. The dosage ranges from 7mg to 18mg per day.
Women who are pregnant have a high requirement that can go up to 26-27mg per day. Likewise Lactating mothers and women having their menstrual cycle need to increase the intake of iron. The deficiency of iron is quite common whereas equally uncommon is its excessive intake also known as iron poisoning or iron toxicity.
This is because our body has a strong mechanism for absorption of excess iron. Iron toxicity can lead to nausea, diarrhoea and even organ failure.
Low level of iron in the body can lead to anaemia which is also known as low haemoglobin or low blood levels. The deficiency discourages the production of haemoglobin which is oxygen carrier thereby causing symptoms like constant fatigue, drowsiness, breathlessness, hair loss, paleness and dizziness.
In pregnant women it can lead to stunted growth of foetus. The causes of iron deficiency can be a diet low in iron, excessive menstrual bleeding, inability of body to absorb iron and genetic defects.
Caution: Please use Home Remedies after Proper Research and Guidance. You accept that you are following any advice at your own risk and will properly research or consult healthcare professional.