Are You Low in Iron? Find out how to increase your iron intake safely.
Did you know that one of the most common nutritional imbalances is iron deficiency?
Did you know that iron deficiency affects at least 20 percent of American women, It is a form of anemia , a chronic state of low haemoglobin (the oxygen-transporting component of red blood cells) and caused by a lack or poor absorption of iron.”
What does iron do for the body?
- Iron is a mineral that is important for good health.
- Iron carries oxygen to all parts of your body.
- Low iron levels can leave you tired, pale-looking and irritable.
Iron in foods comes in 2 forms: heme and nonheme. Heme iron is found in animal foods that contain hemoglobin and myoglobin.
Our bodies easily absorb this type of iron.
- red meat
Nonheme iron is found in plants, such as
lentils and other beans.
iron added to iron-enriched and iron-fortified foods such as cereals
Heme iron is absorbed more easily than nonheme. And the absorption of heme iron is not affected by other nutrients in food.
About 35% of heme iron is absorbed from food. Only about 2% to 20% of nonheme iron is absorbed from food.
Heme iron is an important dietary component for promoting cognitive health, including memory, ability to learn and reasoning. Heme iron is particularly beneficial for growing children because research indicates that some toddlers are at higher risk for iron deficiency, and childhood iron-deficiency anemia is associated with behavioral and cognitive delays.
How much iron do you need to maintain a healthy body
Healthy adults absorb about 10% to 15% of the iron in foods. But several factors can affect the actual amount absorbed. One factor is the type of iron.
Some chemicals make it harder to absorb non heme iron.
- Tannins in tea
- Phytates in legumes and whole grains
- Some soybean proteins
Menstruating women need more iron because some iron is lost in menstrual periods, as do women who are breastfeeding. As can be seen in the diagram, pregnant women need about twice the daily iron as women who aren’t pregnant. If you are pregnant, follow your health care provider’s advice on iron intake.
Iron deficiency signs and symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath and dizziness
- Chest pain (only if anemia is severe)
- Leg pain
Symptoms of long-term iron deficiency include:
- A burning sensation in the tongue, or a smooth tongue
- Sores at the corners of the mouth
- Cravings for a specific nonfood substances, such as liquorice, chalk, or clay (pica)
- Spoon-shaped fingernails and toenails
Compare the iron from bison meat and other meats
- 500% more than chicken (breast skinless)
- 35% more than beef steak grilled
- 200% more iron than fried pork chop fryed
Bison contains 69% MORE IRON PER SERVING THAN BEEF.
Do the math, dollar for dollar, you get more than your money’s worth
Eating bison meat over beef. You are paying for is almost pure protein. 15 -30% more than beef. And because it has so little fat, it doesn’t shrink during cooking.