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Iron and Its Many Healthful Benefits

by skytales | July 29, 2019

Almost 71% of hemoglobin and myoglobin are found in iron. Hemoglobin is the major transporter of oxygen from our lungs to our body’s tissues. The myoglobin, on the other hand, is found in muscles, which makes the acceptance, storage, transportation, and release of oxygen possible in the cells. Around 6% of it makes for components of different proteins and important elements in some enzymatic reactions.

Lastly, around 26% of iron in the body is stored in ferritin. Ferritin is found in the cells in the bloodstream.

For men, ferritin has the ability to store up to three years’ worth of iron supplementation while only a year’s worth in women. This is one possible cause why anemia cases are more common in women.

Because this deficiency is unpleasant and dangerous, the role and importance of iron cannot be overseen.

Symptoms of Deficiency

Deficiency in this important mineral leads to body weakness, severe fatigue, and other associated health conditions. People who lack iron cannot perform normal functions. Most of the time, anemia strikes particularly hard on children and women than in men, requiring them to take more iron.

Serious deficiency results in progressive skin problems, causing extra smoothness on the tongue area and brittleness of nails.

Anemia is believed to be the major common worldwide deficiency.

Sources

You can find iron in both vegetarian or non-vegetarian foods. Foods that are rich in this mineral are whole grains, soybeans, legumes, lentils, dry fruits, broccoli, sprouts, turnip, spinach, bread, cereals and green leafy vegetables.

Vitamin C enriched foods are also helpful in the absorption of this mineral by the body. For example, orange juice and other citrus fruits aid in the absorption of iron.

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Health Benefits

When iron is consumed in balanced amount, it provide numerous health benefits.

Let us take a look at some of these:

Insomnia

Iron is beneficial in treating insomnia by stimulating the body’s circadian rhythms. It enhances the person’s sleeping habits and sleeping quality.

Consequently, having enough red blood cell count results to the reduction of the blood pressure’s fluctuation which would otherwise make a person awake at night.

Hemoglobin Formation

It is a major factor in the formation of hemoglobin. Since hemoglobin contains iron, it provides the dark shade of red to the blood. Essentially, this contains the highest concentration of oxygen in the blood.

Women tend to lose large amounts of blood every month because of their period. This is one of the significant causes why women are more prone to having anemia than men.

Enzyme Systems

It is the most vital component of different enzymatic systems and some other significant components like catalase, cytochromes, and myoglobin. If these components do not function properly, some organ systems will weaken or even completely shut down.

Energy Metabolism

It is the chief contributor of energy metabolism in the human body. It is the process of extracting energy from the food consumed and then dispersed to the different parts of the body.

Immune System

Iron is responsible for supplying strength to the human body’s immune system. As a result, this mineral makes the body competent enough to combat some infections and diseases.

Fatigue

This mineral is beneficial in the treatment of chronic fatigue. Often, the cause of fatigue is deficiency in this precious mineral. This is the reason why you should include it in your diet: to keep you fit, energetic and healthy.

Brain Function

This nutrient is critical in the development of the human brain which uses almost 21% of the blood oxygen. Regular blood flow in the brain enhances cognitive ability.

It also helps in making new neural pathways to fend off disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. So, subsequent brain oxygenation and regular iron intake is very important.

Muscle Function

This mineral is an important component of muscle health. It is available in the muscle tissues and aid in providing oxygen supply needed for muscle contraction.

Without this mineral, muscles tend to lose their elasticity and tone. Having weak muscles can be one of the most prominent signs of having anemia.

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Neurotransmitter Synthesis

This mineral is pivotal in the synthesis of essential neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. These chemicals are important in body activities that involve neurons and the human brain.

Anemia in Women

It is also beneficial in treating anemia for women, particularly the pregnant or those with menstruation.

When you lose red blood cells, it spells trouble for the body. But blood transfusions are not the only solution to it all. Commonly, eating foods rich in iron is the better solution.

So, it is advisable to consume enough amount of iron for those women who are either pregnant or has their period.

Chronic Diseases

Iron aids in treating chronic disorders such as renal failure anemia and various chronic diseases in the intestinal and excretory system.

Always remember, however, that iron is not only necessary in the circulatory system. It is also a significant part of other important processes throughout the body’s system.

Iron Deficiency Anemia

This nutrient is beneficial in the remedy of iron deficiency anemia. It is a condition where the body is lacking enough of this mineral to function properly. As it appears, this nutritional deficiency is the most common in the world.

Oxygen Carrier

Another important benefit of iron is that it serves as an oxygen carrier and is responsible for sending oxygen to the body’s cells.

Regulation of Body Temperature

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This mineral is a significant facilitator in the regulation of body temperature. It regulates based on the absorption capacity of the body. As such, when the body temperature is stable, it means that the metabolic and enzymatic functions occur normally.

Concentration

When your body contains sufficient iron, it helps you focus. This benefit significantly enhances mental and cognitive performance.

Restless Leg Syndrome

People with restless leg syndrome are iron deficient. Many scientific studies corroborates to this fact by focusing on this mineral.

Low blood levels are the primary cause of this ailment. This is why doctors recommend a proper intake of iron supplements to cure this condition.

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