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The Nutrition Centre

Iron

 

Iron is Good For

 

spinach, source of ironIron is an essential mineral that contributes to many important physiologic functions in the body. Much of the iron in the body is attached to haemoglobin molecules in red blood cells, thereby delivering oxygen to all of the tissues. Extra iron is stored in the liver, bone marrow, spleen, and muscles.

 

Sources of Iron

 

The best dietary sources of iron are liver and other organ meats, lean red meat, poultry, fish, and shellfish (particularly oysters). Iron from these sources is readily absorbed in the intestines. Other sources of iron include dried beans and peas, legumes, nuts and seeds, whole grains, dark molasses, and green leafy vegetables. However, iron from these sources must be accompanied by certain nutrients for proper absorption. For example, vitamin C helps the absorption of this type of iron.

 

Iron  Deficiencies

 

Significant deficiency in iron leads to anemia. The most common symptoms of anemia are weakness and fatigue. Pregnant women, young women during their reproductive years, and children tend to be at the highest risk of becoming deficient in iron. Anemia may be mild, moderate, or severe and may be caused by significant and/or prolonged blood loss such as that from a bleeding ulcer, menstruation, severe trauma, surgery, or a malignant tumor. It can also be caused by an iron-poor diet, inefficient absorption of dietary iron, pregnancy, and the rapid growth that takes place during infancy, early childhood, and adolescence.

 

 

 
 
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