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Iron

What is iron for? –

Iron is an essential component of haemoglobin involved in oxygen transport.  Iron deficiency develops gradually and usually begins with a negative iron balance, when iron intake doesn’t meet the daily need for dietary iron.  If you get too little iron in your diet or lose too much through heavy menstrual periods, lack of absorption, ...Read more stomach bleeding or cancer, your body draws on its iron reserve.  Initially there are no symptoms but as your iron supply dwindles so does your bodys ability to produce healthy red blood cells.  
A deficiency of iron limits oxygen delivery to cells, resulting in fatigue, iron-deficiency anaemia, excessive menstrual loss, learning disabilities and decreased immunity.

Who may need extra iron to prevent a deficiency? –

•    Pregnant women
•    Infants and toddlers
•    Teenage girls
•    Women of childbearing age, especially those with heavy menstrual losses
•    People with gastrointestinal disorders
•    Vegetarians

If you get too little iron in your diet or lose too much through heavy menstrual periods, stomach bleeding or cancer, your body draws on its iron reserve.  Initially there are no symptoms but as your iron supply dwindles so does your bodys ability to produce healthy red blood cells.  

Which foods contain iron? –

•    Liver
•    Kelp
•    Pumpkin Seeds
•    Spinach
•    Oysters

Vitamin C helps increase the absorption of iron.  

What do the different forms of iron mean? – Iron comes in two forms: heme iron (from meat and animal products) and non-heme iron (from other sources like vegetables and iron supplements).  Heme iron is the most efficiently absorbed.  In addition, heme iron is without the side effects of nausea, flatulence and diarrhea or constipation.


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