Nutrient Spotlight: Good Ole’ Iron

A deficiency in any nutrient or mineral has its consequences, but an iron deficiency can cost you quite a bit. Having a sufficient amount of Iron in your diet is essential to maintaining a healthy and productive lifestyle. It’s especially important for those always-on-the-move-women. Not getting enough Iron more than likely leads to feeling weak, sluggish and  a decreased immunity. Not having enough Iron basically means not getting the proper amount of energy and can lead to anemia. No bueno. 

 And according to what the National Institutes of Health says on Iron:  “Almost two-thirds of iron in the body is found in hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to tissues. Smaller amounts of iron are found in myoglobin, a protein that helps supply oxygen to muscle, and in enzymes that assist biochemical reactions. Iron is also found in proteins that store iron for future needs and that transport iron in blood. Iron stores are regulated by intestinal iron absorption [1,8].”

Recommended Daily Iron Consumption

Age (years) Males (mg/day) Females (mg/day)
7-12 months 11 11
1 – 3 7 7
4 – 8 10 10
9 – 13 8 8
14 – 18 11 15
19 – 50 8 18
51+ years 8 8(Institute of Medicine. Food and Nutrition Board.)

So what’s the quickest and easiest way to make sure Iron-deficiency doesn’t happen to you?

Why eating the right foods of course!

Remember Popeye the Sailor Man and all that “I-eat-me-spinach” stuff? Well he definitely had a point, spinach is a great way to consume iron, as well as another dark leaf green, collards. It can also be found in foods such as: red meat, egg yolks, dried fruit (prunes, raisins), turkey or chicken, liver, artichokes, Iron-enriched cereals and grains, mollusks (oysters, clams, scallops) and beans.

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