Taking iron in our diet is essential for the body to function optimally.
Iron is part of the hemoglobin in the blood. participates in the transport of oxygen to cells. You will have heard more than once that when there is bleeding (heavy periods, gastric ulcers) iron is lost, increasing the risk of anemia and loss of energy.
Health professionals indicate taking iron in supplements or pills, however, these must be accompanied by a diet rich in vitamins that support its absorption.
Pay attention to this post and discover what are the sources, functions and how to improve the absorption of this mineral.
Why take iron?
iron is a essential mineral for the body. 70% is fulfilling functions such as: transporting and storing oxygen from the lungs to different parts of the body, is part of enzymes, participates in the development of tissues, intervenes in hormonal production and in the activation of metabolic systems.
This trace element is the most abundant in the bodyin fact, it is the main component of hemoglobin and myoglobin, the proteins responsible for blood flow and the formation of muscle fibers.
Iron is obtained through the diet and is present in many of the foods we eat every day, but in an unbalanced diet there is a greater chance of having an absence of this mineral, becoming a very dangerous condition for health.
What happens when there is iron deficiency?
When taking iron is not a constant in the diet, various disorders can occur, among them are:
- fatigue and tiredness
- pale skin
- brittle nails
- Lack of concentration and energy
- discouragement and lack of appetite
In the case of anemia, it can be caused by imbalances in menstruation or excessive bleeding from gastric ulcers. Although the main cause of this disease is poor nutrition.
the cIron deficiency is usually a disorder derived from poor nutrition and it can affect women of childbearing or pregnant age, children, adolescents, athletes and the elderly.
take iron and vitamins
There are vitamins and other minerals that the body requires to properly synthesize iron. There may be anemia due to the deficiency of these nutrients necessary for their absorption:
- copper and molybdenum: collaborate with iron for the formation of red blood cells.
- Vitamin C: necessary for iron to fulfill its function of storing and transporting oxygen.
- Vitamin A: necessary for the synthesis of iron in the liver, spleen, bone marrow, etc.
types of iron
Iron occurs in nature in two forms:
➤ Iron of animal origin or heme
It has a bioavailability of absorption of 10% to 25% and we find it in meat, organ meats, fish and shellfish.
➤ Plant-based or non-heme iron
Between 5 to 10% is absorbed and the greatest contribution is made by legumes, green leafy vegetables, nuts, cereals, seeds and wheat germ.
How to take iron?
Heme iron is better absorbed by our body and is obtained from foods of animal origin. For vegetarians it is recommended to take iron supplements and accompany your diet with vitamin C to enhance absorption.
Do you want to know which are the foods richest in iron?
Keep reading and take note!
- Seafood: all shellfish are rich in iron, but clams, oysters and molluscs stand out.
- Liver and other viscera: Believe it or not, they are very nutritious. The best known are the liver, kidneys, brain and heart.
- Legumes: the best known. Among them, the famous lentils stand out for being very high in iron. Beans, chickpeas, peas, and soybeans are also great sources of iron, especially for vegetarians. They are also rich in magnesium and potassium.
- Red meat: It is very nutritious and contains other important minerals such as zinc, selenium and B vitamins.
- Turkey: this meat is delicious and very healthy. In addition, it is a good source of iron, especially dark turkey meat.
- Dark chocolate: dark chocolate includes prebiotic fiber, iron, vitamins and minerals. But, to get its benefits, it is better to consume it without sugar and with a high percentage of cocoa.
How to improve iron absorption?
Taking iron is vital, but you also have to assume healthy habits that increase its bioavailability. Follow these recommendations to maintain adequate iron levels:
- Include raw foods rich in vitamin C in your diet: peppers, citrus fruits and green leafy vegetables.
- Add lemon to fish, stews and meats.
- Combine meat and fish with legumes, cereals and vegetables.
- Drink orange juice.
- Reduce the intake of coffee and tea because they limit the absorption of iron.
- if you practice sportTry to eat iron-rich meals two hours before training.
The best treatment against iron deficiency is prevention, make sure you watch your diet, combining foods rich, not only in iron, but in all the vitamins and minerals that contribute to enriching the blood.
If you want to start taking iron with a supplement, consult your trusted doctor first.