Why women need iron & the best sources - Emily Skye

Why women need iron & the best sources

Why women need iron & the best sources

Iron is an essential nutrient that plays numerous roles in the workings of your body, including the production of blood, the transport of oxygen from your blood to all the different cells in your body, as well as energy production, concentration and the running of your immune system.

When your body is not absorbing enough iron, you can become anemic. Initially the symptoms may go unnoticed, however, they gradually become more and more intense.

Symptoms include:

  • Lethargy/fatigue
  • dizziness/lightheadedness
  • Pale skin
  • Brittle nails
  • Headaches
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Sore tongue
  • Chest pains
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fast heart beat.

Though iron is an essential nutrient for men and women alike, women often require more at different times in their lives, due to factors such as puberty, menstruation, pregnancy and breastfeeding. In these times we need to take extra care to ensure that we are getting enough iron.

Where to get your iron

If you are anemic your doctor might suggest taking iron supplements or even having iron injections. For everyone else though, it is important that your diet includes iron-rich foods on a regular basis. Though the most commonly recommended iron source is red meat, it is most certainly not the only one! Often people suggest that vegetarians and vegans are more likely to be anemic, and though iron is more easily digested from red meat, your body soon adapts to a vegetarian diet and is able to extract iron from other plant produce just as efficiently.

Good iron sources include:

  • Lean red meats
  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Legumes
  • Nuts
  • Green leafy vegetables 

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