Importance of Iron Supplements in Diet

Importance of Iron Supplements in Diet

Whenever we talk about something really powerful and something which cannot be broken, the first word which comes to our mind is IRON. We even have fictional superheroes named Iron-man and then this word has been used as the nicknames of very famous and omnipotent personalities as well. All these examples clearly state that iron means power, energy, and strength. Similarly, Iron is one of the important elements of our food as well. Iron plays a vital role in maintaining the healthy state of our bodies.

Here we will understand the importance of Iron as a supplement in the body by answering some basic questions.

The first question which comes up is, What is Iron? The answer is IIron is a mineral in the human body. It is a part of haemoglobin, the substance present in red blood cells. Which helps blood carry oxygen throughout the human body.

The second question which comes up is, what are the repercussions of lack of Iron in haemoglobin? Simply, if the human body does not have enough iron, then the body cannot make haemoglobin and hence the person can suffer from anaemia.

The third question is, what is Anemia? Anaemia can be easily understood by noting that first of all it is a health problem which only occurs due to a lack of haemoglobin in the blood. When a person gets anemia, he/she is said to be "anaemic".

A solution to the problem can only be derived, if we identify the problem well. Here the problem is Anemia and to get the solution for the same first we need to know about its existence in the body. So, the next and fourth question which arises is, What are the signs of anaemia?

Following are the major signs of anaemia:

  1. Feeling of Tiredness
  2. Problems in Breathing
  3. Dizziness
  4. Headache
  5. Feeling of cold or chills

To understand the problem even better one also needs to know how it happens. The reasons behind the occurrence of such a problem. So the next and fifth question is, What causes anaemia?
The most basic and major cause of anaemia is a deficiency of Iron. This is also known as iron deficiency anaemia. This is also a type and most common type of anaemia.

Next and the sixth question is, What are the reasons for the reduction of iron levels in the body?

Reason1: Blood loss can be caused due to many things ulcers, some cancers, and other health problems

Reason2: This is most common in women because of their outflow of blood in the monthly cycles commonly known as periods.

Reason3: This is the negligence of proper diet- an iron-poor diet

Reason4: Not serving enough amount of Iron as it demands eg. during pregnancy. During such situations, the chances of women developing anaemia are highly possible.

The seventh question is, Who is more prone to develop iron deficiency -Anemia? The following group of people have a higher risk:

  1. Women: The reason is because of blood loss during monthly periods and giving birth.
  2. People over 65: People who are more likely to have diets that are low in iron.
  3. People who are on blood thinners (a kind of medicine): such as aspirin, Plavix, Coumadin, or Heparin.

Coming on to the solution of the problem, the eighth question is Can iron-deficiency anaemia be treated?

And the answer is like any other problem this problem also has a solution and the solutions are explained below. This type of anaemia can be treated and cured and the ways are as follows:

The first solution is to get in touch with your doctor who can then get some tests done to find what is the main reason behind the health issue of anaemia. Mainly there can be two reasons behind the same:

  1. It can be caused by a poor diet or
  2. A more serious health problem

The reason behind the test is to treat both the anaemia and its cause.

TREATMENTS

  1. Iron-deficiency anaemia can be easily treated with iron supplements taken by mouth
  2. Consumption of foods that are high in iron.

Next and the ninth question is, What foods are high in iron?

Now, this should be understood that the iron in food comes from two sources:

  1. Animals and
  2. Plants

Iron from plants is found in the following:

  1. Vegetables and
  2. In iron-added to foods such as breakfast cereals Iron from meat is considered better to be absorbed by the body as compared to plants.

However, if a person is not willing to eat a lot of animal foods, there are other foods as well that a person can try. In particular, plant foods that have a lot of iron are Vegetables that too especially :

  1. Leafy greens such as
    1. Broccoli
    2. Spinach
    3. Kale
    4. Turnip greens, and
    5. Collards, potatoes with the skin,
    6. Lima beans
    7. Green peas, and all other beans (e.g. kidney, black, navy, etc.),
    8. and tomato sauce.

Fruits:

Dried apricots, dried figs, raisins, prunes, and prune juice. Loaves of bread, Cereals Rice & Pasta: Iron-fortified whole-grain loaves of bread, kinds of pasta, rice, and cereals. Read food labels and look for slices of bread and cereals that have 20% or more of the Daily Value for iron.

As we have already read above that supplement form of Iron can also be consumed, so the major supplemental forms of iron that are best absorbed by the body are:

  1. Ferrous sulfate
  2. Ferrous gluconate
  3. Ferrous ascorbate
  4. Ferric ammonium citrate

Now few forms of Iron are NOT well absorbed by the body they are:

  1. Ferrous fumarate
  2. Ferrous succinate
  3. Ferric saccharate

Now while a person I son iron supplements there are some tips one should be aware of such as:

  1. Vitamin C is the nutrient that excels in the absorption of Iron. The good sources of Vitamin C are orange and yellow fruits like lemons, oranges, lime, etc.
  2. Many food items decrease the absorption of Iron, such items as beverages are tea, coffee, etc.

So, while consuming the Iron one should be aware of the diet he/she has to take with it.

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