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Iron: What are the benefits?

Iron is an essential mineral, present in all cells of the human body it has several vital functions. Iron is needed for the production of red blood cells, it is also a major component of haemoglobin, which transports vital oxygen from the lungs via the arteries to every part of the human body. Each cell in the body needs iron to produce energy.

Good sources of iron can be found in some foods, such as, meat, including turkey, beef, tuna, chicken and liver, dark-green leafy vegetables, such as kale and watercress, dried fruit, such as cranberries, nuts, beans and whole grains, such as brown rice.

What is an iron deficiency?

Iron deficiencies occur when a person uses up all the iron stored in their body, this is usually a result of when the diet does not include enough iron rich foods, if there is a loss of blood or if there is an increased need for iron in the body, for example during pregnancy and breastfeeding or during adolescence

Anemia is recognised as one of the most common nutritional disorders, occurring when a persons red blood cell count is below average or when your red blood cells lack haemoglobin. Symptoms of amenia include, feeling lethargic, faint, dizzy, you may also suffer from headaches, low body temperature and an irregular heart beat.

If you're unable to meet the recommended daily intake for iron from your food intake alone, it may be beneficial to take an iron supplement to prevent nutrient deficiencies.

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