iron is one of the minerals most important for health , due to the functions that this nutrient fulfills in the organism . Thus, the deficiency of this mineral can be detrimental to health and cause the development of iron deficiency anemia .
The importance of this mineral for health makes regular consumption of foods rich in iron essential. In this sense, experts recommend consuming between 18 and 18 mg per day, while pregnant women need to ingest 27 mg.
People who follow a healthy and balanced diet do not have to find it difficult to have optimal levels of this mineral. And is that iron is found in lean meats, seafood, poultry, cereals, nuts, beans or raisins.
Iron in pregnancy
In certain physiological situations, such as pregnancy or lactation, the body's iron needs increase.
However, some nutritionists explain that meeting the requirements of iron in these circumstances without increasing calories is difficult. For this, it is important to consume two daily servings of protein foods, such as fish, eggs or meat, which are rich in heme iron (animal origin); and easier for the body to absorb.
For its part, non-heme iron, from foods of animal origin, presents greater difficulties when it comes to its absorption by the body.
How to better absorb iron
The body needs a adequate amount of iron to produce hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that is responsible for transporting oxygen from the lungs to different areas of the body; and myoglobin, a protein that provides oxygen to the muscles.
Thus, nutrition experts recommend consuming both heme iron and non-heme iron foods on a regular basis. This is achieved mainly thanks to a healthy and balanced diet.
One of the best methods to better absorb iron-rich foods of plant origin is to consume foods that are source of vitamin C , especially present in citrus fruits. And it is that vitamin C helps a better assimilation of non-heme iron by the human body.
In addition, it is also possible to increase iron levels through the consumption of supplements. However, this option should always be secondary and have the supervision of a medical specialist who deems such a treatment appropriate. It is common in people with iron deficiency.
Iron deficiency anemia is a health condition caused by a lack of iron in the body. When this happens, red blood cells shrink and contain less hemoglobin, causing the blood to carry less oxygen to the lungs.
In addition, iron deficiency anemia can cause symptoms such as fatigue, lack of energy, intestinal disorders, loss of memory and concentration or reduction of the body's ability to fight germs and infections .
For all these reasons, it is essential to have optimal iron levels and to introduce foods into our nutritional structure that help regulate the values of this mineral in the body.