Iron – The Energy Furnace

Did you know iron is used to form red blood cells that transport oxygen around the body? Oxygen is essential to break the food particles within and fuel the organs. Without enough iron, there may be very few healthy red blood cells to carry sufficient oxygen to satisfy your body’s needs, leading to anemia.

If you run out of breath while you follow your routine, feel weak or dizzy, feel constipated, suffer from abnormal heart beats or unusual hair falls, this can be a sign of iron deficiency.

What causes iron deficiency?

Improper eating habits:

A balanced meal is key to healthy mind and body. Food such as eggs and meat are rich in iron and supply the body with much of the iron it needs to produce hemoglobin.

Loss of blood:

Blood loss from an injury, periods or while giving birth. Iron is found primarily in the blood, as it is stored in red blood cells.  This is one reason why women during pregnancy are advised folic acid pills.

Inability to absorb iron:

“I eat a balanced meal with all the poultry needed to produce the iron for the body”, yet I am iron deficient. Don’t be surprised if you still have a low hemoglobin count. You are amongst the ones who cannot absorb iron obtained from food. This can be linked to Celiac disease or inability of the small intestine to absorb iron from food. Reach out for a medical advice to treat the condition.

 

Pregnancy:

While you are pregnant, the growing fetus demands a good amount of iron, due to this, you may be deficient in iron. A pregnant woman has an increased amount of blood in her body which demands more iron to meet its needs.

Vegetarians: Vegetarians, who eat a plant-based diet, may be lacking in iron. To combat this, they should be sure to include foods rich in iron, such as beans or fortified cereals. Non-Vegetarians who eat seafood should consider oysters or salmon, as a part of their regular diet.

Athletic activity:

Life of an athlete is very demanding when it comes to macro or micro nutrition.  While athlete trains he will need all the essential micro nutrient, for a better decomposition of the macro nutrients and his performance.  Iron deficiency is very common in athletes who train for hours in the gym; this may be due to chronic stress and can be easily improved by either a diet rich in iron of supplementing with iron pills.

Iron plays an essential role in the general well-being and even more so for athletes. Deficiency in iron can be hazardous to one’s health.  From a child to a teenager, from a healthy adult to an athlete, or from a pregnant lady to a lactating mother, iron has a role to play.  Too much of iron in the body will have its adverse effects as well so follow dosage only as prescribed by your doctor.

 

 

 

Article Credits – Navdeep Chawla