A shortage of the iron trace element is common and can have unpleasant and serious consequences. After all, the mineral plays an important role in your body. In the first place, it ensures that the red blood cells can carry oxygen from your lungs into every body cell. In addition, iron has other functions. It helps, for example, in the production of antibodies and in the breakdown of harmful substances in your body.
What are the symptoms of an iron deficiency, who is more at risk and what can you do to avoid a shortage of iron.
Slap on your legs
123-broccoli-vegetables-170_04.jpg Those who have an iron deficiency feel lethargic and tired more easily after an effort. He or she often sees pale and can suffer from headaches and dizziness. Other symptoms are brittle nails and inflammation of the tongue. Babies and children who receive too little iron grow less quickly than their peers and make less progress intellectually. Due to their reduced resistance, they are also more susceptible to infections.
Who is in danger?
An iron deficiency can occur in all age groups. However, growing children and pregnant women are most at risk. Women have higher iron requirements than men because they lose iron monthly during menstruation. Young girls in the growth spurt that are already menstruating form an important risk group that requires attention.
If you follow a strict slimming diet or opt for a vegetarian diet, you also run the risk of an iron deficiency.
What Popeye did not know …
The cartoon hero Popeye perhaps devours tons of spinach, but a lot of iron will not give him that. Iron comes in the diet in 2 forms. Heem iron is mainly found in meat and fish and is well absorbed by your body. Non-heme iron that is present in vegetables, fruit, bread, grain products, and potatoes is generally less efficiently absorbed. Moreover, vegetable foods often contain oxalates, phytates, and polyphenols. These natural substances enter into a connection in the intestine with iron so that the iron can no longer be absorbed and leaves the body as such. This explains, among other things, the misunderstanding that spinach is a good iron source. If you look at a food table, you will notice that spinach indeed contains a relatively large amount of iron.
Very strong tips
– In normal circumstances, the iron content can be maintained with a balanced and varied diet.
– Foods from which iron is properly absorbed are meat, fish, poultry, broccoli, cauliflower, pumpkin, tomatoes, citrus fruits.
– Foods which also contain iron, but iron that is less well absorbed, are potatoes, carrots, pineapple, flour (without bran), rice, flour with bran, apples, bananas, pears, rhubarb, spinach, nuts, almonds, eggs.
– Vitamin C promotes the absorption of iron. Vegetarians, therefore, best take vegetables, fruit or fruit juice rich in vitamin C with every meal. Considering animal products provide a large part of the iron supply, a vegetarian diet requires extra attention for iron.
– Iron supplements may be necessary for some situations eg during pregnancy or after a major loss of blood. Excess iron is poisonous. Therefore, take this medication only with a doctor’s prescription and stick to the prescribed dose.