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Iron - Why Is It An Important Factor For Good Health?

Reviewed by
Dr. Anil Savani 92% (158 ratings)
MD - Medicine, Diploma in Diabetes Management
Diabetologist, Surat  •  9 years experience
Iron - Why Is It An Important Factor For Good Health?

Iron is definitely one of the most important ingredients and nutrients that we require. Most of the health problems in the world are caused due to iron deficiency, including low immunity and anaemia, among many others. The lack of iron can lead to a variety of developmental delays and can also affect the haemoglobin levels in the blood which gives rise to symptoms like dizzy spells and fatigue.

So what are the underrated facts about iron that we need to know? Read on -

  1. Transport of Oxygen: Iron is credited with the transport of oxygen within the human body. It is a well-known fact that all the cells, atoms and tissues in our body need oxygen, in order to grow and maintain a livelihood. The red blood cells in our body are a good source of this oxygen as they contain an iron-rich protein called haemoglobin. This element is what makes the oxygen which is later released in a more targeted manner. While two grams of oxygen can exist in the cells at any given point, this supply can diminish if the dietary iron intake reduces which can lead to a condition called anaemia.
  2. Production of Energy: Iron is also an element that helps in the metabolism, which has great implications for the various organs and muscles of the human body. The cells of our body are known to burn these calories in the diet so as to create energy which activates these organs. If the iron resources become low in these cells, then the process does not take place in a proper manner, which can lead to symptoms like fatigue before the organ functionality gets compromised.
  3. Iron Rich Food: The kind of foods and materials contain iron include legumes, lentils, fish, tofu, seafood, pork, soybeans, liver, green vegetables like spinach and ladies fingers, raisins, strawberries, and other fortified food like cereals. It is a well-known fact that plant foods tend to contain lower levels of iron as compared to animal foods like red meat. Also, there are many spices that are rich in iron including cumin and cardamom, which can be used on a daily basis to pepper your salads and stir fry preparations.
  4. Cooking and Storage: Iron usually gets sucked out of food when the food is cooked for long or processed and packaged under highly intense condition or with excessive salt additives. Also, when you cook plant sources too much, then the iron can escape by way of the water that it leaves, which evaporates.

Find out a good way to bring iron into your diet, but remember that too much of iron can also lead to toxicity.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult a specialist & get answers to your questions!
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