Iron Supplements – benefits and uses
Iron is one mineral that is essential to live since it aids in the creation of red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout the body. There are plenty of foods and fruits that contain iron and for those who are mostly anemic and have low iron levels, can increase that by taking iron supplements that are most commonly used for the treatment of anemia.
Natural food sources of iron
In most cases, a diet that is balanced is good enough to maintain healthy levels in the body. Some of the natural food sources of iron consist of:
- Fish, meat and poultry
- Beans, peas and lentils
- Vegetables such as broccoli and spinach
- Nuts and dried fruits
But for those who do not follow a good and balanced diet, need a way to increase iron in the body and that can be done through the intake of iron supplements.
Do you have iron deficiency?
How do you know when you are facing iron deficiency? What are the signs and symptoms?
Iron supplements are taken mostly to treat iron deficiency that results in the following symptoms:
- Pale skin
- Extreme fatigue
- Cold hands and feet
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Fast heartbeat
- Brittle or weak nails
- Poor appetite
- Unusual cravings for substances that are non-nutritive such as cravings for starch, ice or even dirt
- Soreness or inflammation of the tongue
Uses of Iron supplements
It is a well known fact that those with anemia need to take iron supplements to restore the iron levels in the body and keep it functioning properly. Iron supplements are mostly prescribed to the following:
- Women during pregnancy
- Those women who get heavy menstrual periods
- People undergoing chemotherapy
- People with kidney disease
Most doctors recommend iron supplements for teenage girls, women of a childbearing age, pregnant women, infants as well as toddlers.
Benefits of iron for the body
Have we mentioned that iron is extremely important for us to live and function in our everyday lives? Well it certainly does! Not only does it help in creating red blood cells, but also provide us with the following benefits.
- Iron helps in the formation of hemoglobin in the body which helps in transporting oxygen.
- Helps to treat restless leg syndrome
- Increases brain function
- Iron helps to regulate the body’s temperature
- Promotes muscle function by supplying oxygen
- Carries oxygen through the body
- Helps in curing anemia in women during and after pregnancy
- Strengthens the immune system and boosting immunity
- Helps in fighting unexplained or chronic fatigue
- Treats insomnia
- Improves concentration
How to take iron supplements?
For women, the daily iron intake recommended for men is 8.7mg each day whereas for women the recommended intake is 14.8mg. Iron supplements should be taken with one full glass of water along with food for it to absorb better in to the body.