Our bodies require certain nutrients to function normally, every single day. Most of these nutrients come from food, which is why a balanced diet is one of the most recommended ways to maintain a healthy body.
One of the most essential minerals that your body needs is iron. Within this guide, we will be taking you through exactly what iron is, including how it fuels your body.
What Is Iron?
Iron is an essential mineral that your body needs for normal development. It is most commonly known for contributing to the reduction of fatigue and tiredness, but it also serves purpose to your immune system, cognitive function and formation of red blood cells.
How Does Iron Fuel The Body?
Let’s take a deeper look into how iron fuels the body. All of the following claims have been approved by the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority).
- It Contributes To Your Energy Levels
As stated previously, iron is most commonly known for contributing to the reduction of fatigue and tiredness. This is because iron is needed for energy production. Many people take iron tablets or other forms of supplementation (B vitamins, magnesium and vitamin C) to reduce fatigue and tiredness.
- It Contributes To The Transport Of Oxygen
Iron contributes to the normal function of red blood cells and haemoglobin. Haemoglobin is the substance in red blood cells that transports oxygen throughout your body. In less scientific terms, iron is necessary for the transport of oxygen in the body.
- It Helps Your Immune System
Iron is necessary for the function of the immune system. As we all know, the normal function of the immune system is beneficial to our health, making it an incredibly important aspect of our bodies to protect.
- It Aids Normal Cognitive Function
Iron contributes to normal cognitive function. Cognitive function relates to our memory, concentration, learning, intelligence and problem solving. As you probably already know, these areas of our cognitive function shape the way we live our everyday lives.
Sources of Iron
The great thing about iron is that, much like other minerals, it can be obtained through a balanced diet. Good sources of iron include:
- Red meat
- Liver (but it is best to avoid this if you are pregnant)
- Dried fruits
- Fortified breakfast cereals
Some people opt to take Feroglobin iron supplements if they feel that they aren’t obtaining enough iron through diet alone. Feroglobin is suitable for most age ranges, however is most beneficial to adults over the age of 50 and women during menstruation. The recommended daily iron intake is (NHS, 2021):
- 14.8mg a day for women
- 8.7mg a day for men and post-menopausal women
If you wish to discuss your iron intake further, book an appointment with your doctor. They will be able to take you through everything you need to know about iron and its effects on your body.