Iron – What is it, why do you need it, and what are the benefits?

What is Iron?

There are a number of iron benefits. Iron is a mineral that’s important for growth and development of the body. Your body uses iron to make haemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to all parts of the body. It also helps create myoglobin, a protein that provides the muscles with oxygen.

The advantage of iron?

Without enough iron, your red blood cells can’t carry oxygen to your muscles and the tissues that need it. This then leads to anaemia, which is a condition in which you lack enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to your body’s tissues. Having anaemia can make you feel tired and weak. If you are feeling weak due to low iron levels, there are a number of different iron supplements for anaemia available. 

iron benefits

How much iron do you need?

Women aged 19 – 50 need 14.8mg of iron each day, whilst men require 8.7mg per day. The reason women need more iron is due to menstruation, pregnancy and breast-feeding. After the age of 50, women need 8.7mg of iron a day. 

If you’re following a vegetarian or vegan diet you may struggle to get enough iron from your diet. This may lead to a deficiency, luckily there are a number of vitamins for iron deficiency readily available. 

How do I know if I have an iron deficiency?

More than two billion people around the world have an iron deficiency, making it the most common nutritional deficiency. As women are particularly at risk due to menstruation, pregnancy and breast-feeding, there are specially designed iron supplements for women available over the counter or online. (luckily our iron gummies have 14mg of iron per serving, the perfect dose for women)

If you don’t get enough iron, you won’t have enough haemoglobin for your tissues and muscles to function normally. Symptoms of this include:

  • fatigue
  • feeling weak or tired
  • pale skin
  • shortness of breath
  • heart palpitations
  • headache
  • sore tongue
  • hair loss
  • mouth ulcers

Iron benefits for kids

Babies usually get enough iron from mother’s milk, while bottle fed babies normally consume a fortified formula with iron. Children can get all the iron they need from a balanced diet, however, if they follow a vegetarian, vegan, or even a diet low in red meat, they may need to consider a supplement. 

If you do have a fussy child who won’t take big vitamins, we have a tasty blackberry flavoured gummy bear vitamin which will be sure to go down a treat.

If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms in this article, you can go to your local GP and get a blood test to check your iron levels. If you do have low levels of iron, you will need to get more iron from your diet or from an iron vitamin. There are a number of benefits you can gain from an iron vitamin, the main one being ensuring you develop healthy red blood cells, but it can also help maintain healthy skin, hair and nails, too.

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