Health benefits of Iron

The health benefits of Iron for our body

Iron is an important nutrient which is essential for human health. Many people are deficient in this mineral which leads to problems in the body. Iron is found mostly in meat, shellfish and fish but can also be found in plant-based foods like seeds, nuts and legumes.

In this article, we highlight all of the health benefits of iron, explain how it works in the body and how you can get more of this into your diet.

1. Making Blood: Iron plays an important role in making haemoglobin and red blood cells. It is used to carry oxygen from your lungs and transport it throughout the body. If you don’t get at least 8mg of iron each day then you will likely become anaemic. This condition can lead to breathing problems, fatigue and deep ambient headaches.

2. Muscle Health is the supreme health benefit of iron: It is much needed to maintain healthy muscles in the body. Iron is used to create myoglobin, a protein found in muscle cells. This acts as an oxygen storage unit for whenever the muscles need it. Muscles use oxygen to help make ATP energy and in contraction and relaxation. Athletes need a higher iron intake as it can be lost through sweating. 3. Brain Health People who are deficient in iron tend to have a poor cognitive function with poor memory, brain fog and problems with concentration. The iron mineral is used in the brain to make neuroglobin. This protein also feeds the brain with oxygen and in making cellular ATP energy used for thinking.

4. Immunity: Iron has been shown to help strengthen the bodies immune system against infections from viruses, bacteria and other invaders. Iron is needed so that the thymus gland can make T-Cells. T-cells are part of the natural defenders in the body which keep harmful microbes at bay.

5. Making DNA Minerals like iron, magnesium, zinc and others are all used in different enzyme functions in the body. They act as co-factors or helper elements which support the health of the entire body. Iron plays a role in making and repairing DNA in billions of cells.

6. Menstrual Support: When women are on a period or going through the menstrual cycle, they tend to release iron through the blood. During this monthly cycle, it is recommended to consume iron-rich foods to naturally refortify the blood. Liver and oysters are excellent choices.

7. Thyroid Function: The thyroid is a gland in the neck which produces very important hormones. These regulate the heart rate, digestion, muscle function and much more. Iron is needed by the thyroid gland to convert T4 to T3. This is especially important for those with thyroid disorders such as hypo/hyperthyroidism.

8. Reduce Bruising: People who bruise easily and often may be deficient in iron and haemoglobin. Consuming healthy sources of iron can help to reduce these bruises by boosting internal blood clotting. For a supplement, we highly recommend desiccated liver or liver extract.

9. Restores Sleep Studies show that those who have low iron stores often suffer from restless sleep, insomnia and sleep apnea. Minerals like iron are needed to regulate energy in brain cells and can help to restore a natural sleep cycle. We also highly recommend magnesium if you suffer from sleep issues.

10. Restless Legs Many people suffer from restless leg syndrome. This is an electrical annoying sensation in the legs which can be very irritating and often happens at night. This is an energy problem in the body caused by mineral deficiencies. This is usually caused by a magnesium or potassium deficiency, but can also be caused by low iron. Minerals work in harmony with each other in the body for making energy and controlling nerve impulses.

As you can see, iron is a key mineral for human health and is absolutely essential for transporting oxygen throughout the body. Unfortunately, many people are deficient in Iron because they consume too many refined grains, legumes and nuts. These plant sources contain phytic acid which blocks the absorption of iron and other minerals. You can soak these in water overnight to germinate them, and then dry them out to remove the phytic acid if you wish. The average person needs around 8mg of iron per day and pregnant women need at least 27mg to meet their requirements. The best food sources of iron are liver, oysters, spirulina, grass-fed beef, bison and mussels. Heme iron is found in animal sources and is much more bioavailable than the none-heme iron found in plant-based foods. If you are looking to take a supplement, be sure to choose a good quality grass-fed liver/spleen extract. This is a natural form of iron bound to protein and is easily absorbed in the body. This is sometimes labelled as a desiccated liver in health food stores. Regular iron supplements are made of elemental iron, which can be very toxic for the body, causing rusting and oxidation in the cells. If you have digestive disorders such as acid reflux, indigestion, IBS or GERD then you may struggle to absorb iron. If this is the case taking apple cider vinegar capsules before a meal can help your stomach to break down and utilise minerals from your foods. Finally, you can become deficient in iron when using anti-inflammatory drugs regularly such as ibuprofen. We recommend consuming anti-inflammatory foods daily instead to help deal with pain.