The content of the article
- Why does the body need iron
- Daily iron requirement for adults and children
- Types of Iron-Rich Products
- High iron foods table
- How to determine the lack of iron in the body
The human body daily needs to use substances that regulate its work. They help all systems perform their functions properly. Vitamins and microelements enter the human body through food, so proper balanced nutrition is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Especially noticeable for people is the lack of iron in the body necessary for normal metabolism. To prevent it from happening, use iron-containing foods every day. Read more about why this substance is needed by the body and what food it contains, read below.
Why does the body need iron
Iron is an element that plays an important role in human metabolism. After it enters the stomach along with iron-containing products, the trace element is absorbed mostly in the upper intestinal section. When iron enters the bloodstream, it helps the formation of hemoglobin. This is a special protein that carries oxygen to the tissues of organs. A lack of iron-containing foods in the diet can provoke a lack of hemoglobin, due to which a person will experience unpleasant symptoms. There are 2 types of iron:
- Haem. Substance of animal origin. It has high digestibility (up to 35%), is more involved in the production of hemoglobin.
- Unskilled. Plant matter. It has a relatively low digestibility (up to 20%), but is better suited for diet.
Daily iron requirement for adults and children
Without daily use of iron, a person begins to feel bad, diseases that provoke malfunctions in the heart system, gastrointestinal tract can develop. Its deficiency leads to disruption of the thyroid gland producing hormones, a strong uncontrolled weight gain can occur. In a normal state, a person has 3-4 milligrams of iron in the body, but about 1 milligram is naturally lost every day. The reasons for this:
- Peeling and sweating.
- Menstruation in women.
- During pregnancy, a large amount of iron is spent on the formation of the body of the unborn baby (for example, red blood cells), on the building material of the placenta.
- Heredity (if a large amount of iron is lost).
Iron-containing products are especially necessary for anemia, which is characterized by a lack of hemoglobin and provokes a person’s poor health. In order to prevent its development, an adult man needs to consume about 8 milligrams per day, women – 18-20. It is recommended for children under 13 years old – 7-10 milligrams, for teenagers – 11 milligrams for boys and 15 girls. It is advisable for pregnant women to consume at least 27 milligrams per day, required for normal fetal development.
Types of Iron-Rich Products
Iron is found in most products and is assimilated differently depending on the type. In some plant components, there is more of it than, for example, in meat, but because of the lower digestibility, it is required to eat them in much larger quantities than animal food for a similar replenishment of iron in the body. List of iron products:
- Dried fruits: figs, apricots, raisins, plums. Up to 1.6 milligrams of iron may be in half a glass of a single fruit or mixture thereof.
- Fish and seafood. Shellfish (100 grams – almost thirty milligrams) contains the most iron, followed by oysters (9.2 per 100 grams), mussels (7 per 100 grams), sardines with anchovies (2.9 milligrams of an element in each product per 100 grams).
- Meat. This product is usually not dietary, so doctors do not recommend focusing on it as a main dish to replenish iron stores. A lot of substance is found in the liver, beef, lamb, chicken. In order not to harm the body, it is advisable to eat not too much animal food every day.
- Whole wheat bread. It also contains such beneficial substances as copper, cobalt.
- Cereals with cereals. Buckwheat, oatmeal, rice.
- White and dark poultry (turkey, chicken).
- Legumes A diet product that is ideal for the daily diet of pregnant women. These are chickpeas, green peas, pinto beans, beans, lima beans, red beans, lentils.
- Leaf-type vegetables. Non-nutritious food, rich not only in iron, but also in other useful trace elements – zinc, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus.
- Nuts: almonds, cashews, pistachios, walnuts.
Check out which hemoglobin-boosting products you need to include in your diet..
High iron foods table
There are several myths that relate to iron-containing products: for example, it is believed that a large amount of this substance is in apples, but this is not so. Apples really have iron in their composition, but its amount is not so significant. The same goes for pomegranate. To find out which products really contain this substance, see the table in the photo:
As the table shows, the obvious leader in iron content is the liver. However, consume this product with caution, especially for pregnant women. Indeed, liver meat contains a lot of vitamin A, which can negatively affect the proper development of the fetus. In addition to the fact that many products contain this substance, there are several ways to better absorb it. This is true for vegetarians who do not get the daily intake of iron from plant foods. Vitamin C foods help make iron digestibility 2 times better:
- Lemon, Orange, Tomato, Grapefruit Juices.
- Bell pepper.
- Cabbage pickle.
- Strawberries, sea buckthorn.
Beneficial effect on how iron is absorbed, any foods rich in B vitamins, folic acid and niacin. Minerals – copper, manganese, cobalt also help in this. In order for the element to saturate the blood more actively and help the formation of hemoglobin, at the same time eat foods saturated with these substances. What food contains minerals, see the photo below:
In addition to products with which it is desirable to combine iron, there is food that does not affect the absorption of this element too well. Do not consume iron-containing dishes along with fatty and dairy products containing calcium (this element does not allow it to be properly absorbed). With iron deficiency, it is recommended to refuse these products almost completely. But if this is not possible, take long breaks between their consumption and iron-containing foods..
Strongly reduce the body’s ability to assimilate foods with iron, some popular drinks can – this is coffee tea containing tannin. If you drink dishes rich in iron, a hot drink, then its final content in the blood will be 60% less. To increase the level of iron in the finished dish, it is advisable to cook in a bowl of cast iron.
For those who cannot digest iron-containing foods well, doctors have developed special medications (Actiferrin, Venofer, Maltofer). If a person suffers from diseases associated with a deficiency of this element, consult your doctor about the appointment of suitable medications. Depending on the blood tests, the specialist will determine the desired dosage, select a drug that is suitable for supporting the body. As a rule, additional therapy is carried out in severe cases, mainly diets are enough for the balance of trace elements in the human body.
How to determine the lack of iron in the body
The main disease that occurs in the body due to a lack of iron is anemia. People call it anemia. Due to the deficiency of this element, the tissues begin to be worse absorbed by oxygen, and the work of the heart muscle becomes not so effective. If a person is in good health, signs of anemia may not occur for a long time. It is much harder to detect in smokers: due to a constant lack of oxygen, the body compensates for hemoglobin.
What symptoms indicate iron deficiency in the human body:
- Weakness, dizziness, darkening in the eyes during physical exertion, fatigue.
- Bad hair, deterioration of the skin: dryness, peeling.
- Decreased attention span.
- Reduced performance.
- The appearance of shortness of breath even with a slight load.
- Frequent colds, infectious diseases.
- Impaired appetite.
- Difficulty swallowing.
- Gastrointestinal problems.
- Drowsiness during the day.
- Smooth muscle weakness.
To compensate for the lack of iron, doctors prescribe a diet rich in foods with this element, in severe cases of the disease, iron-containing drugs are prescribed. Treatment continues until the patient feels better and the hemoglobin level returns to normal (for men it is 132 g / l, for women – 117 g / l). It is important to pay attention to the signs of iron deficiency in the body in time, in order to prevent the development of the disease and prevent the negative impact of anemia on the other systems of the body.
Iron should be consumed not only by anemic patients, but also by people with good health. The main thing is not to exceed the daily consumption rate, because an overabundance of an element is no less harmful than its shortage. The maximum dose of iron absorbed by eating food should not exceed 45 milligrams. Doctors call excess of this element hemochromatosis. If you eat too much iron-containing foods, the following symptoms may appear:
- Change in skin color. The epithelium becomes yellow or earthy..
- Hepatomegaly appears – liver enlargement.
- Unpleasant sensations in the body causing severe discomfort – sensation of “goosebumps”, itching.
- Heart palpitations, arrhythmia.
- Shortness of breath, lack of oxygen.
- Loss of appetite.
- Drop in blood pressure.
- Kidney inflammation.
- Fatal outcome (in rare cases).
Also find out what foods with iron content you need to consume to increase hemoglobin.
To maintain the balance of trace elements in the body, you need to consume products that contain iron. To learn more about them, about their effect on the body about how much it is contained inside, see the next interesting video. The video will consider three types of food that are more rich in iron than all others. You will learn in more detail how involved it is in the proper functioning of the body, how its deficiency affects immunity. More about iron products in the video: