In this article: iron in body, iron vitamin, high iron, iron mineral, use of iron.
In addition to the sources of Iron in the below article from WedMD, here's what else you should know about iron for you health, performance, and longevity.
Everyone is at risk, but if you are a man and 30 years + old, you should make sure to get your iron levels checked. Why? Many people have iron levels that are unhealthy and high, it's a relatively unknown condition called, Hemochromatosis. Symptoms are mild like fatigue, indigestion, or serve like weight loss, ED and loss of sex drive, loss of strength, and joint pain. What is the solution? Bleed! That's right, there isn't any other best option than to donate blood 3-4 times per year to off load iron stores. You are doing a good deed and getting healthier at the same time.
Having too much iron in the blood also appears to be linked to an increased risk of dying earlier. :(
At least, 20% of all women, on the other hand, are LOW in iron, and this percent goes up who are endurance athletes, mensurating or are pregnant. Therefore, female athletes, as the need for iron for oxygen consumption is higher, should get their iron levels checked once per year to spot anemia before it happens. If you'd like to take an comprehensive iron test that looks at both iron levels and iron metabolism (another cause of iron issues), contact us here for more info.
The article also missed out on the fact that beetroot juice, like this one, is high in the nutrients needed to fight low hemoglobin levels plus high nitric oxide boosting and detox powers. It is an excellent sport drink for preventing anemia in endurance athletes, especially female athletes and aging women (ferratin deficiency is #2 most common cause of anemia in the 60+) .
Athletes and just regular people that train at higher altitudes are also at an increased risk for low iron. Conversely, because iron helps carry oxygen around your body, boosting iron levels slightly can actually help improve oxygen uptake at high altitudes where oxygen is lower.
Spinach may not give you superhuman strength to fight off villains like Popeye's nemesis Bluto, but this leafy green and other foods containing iron can help you fight a different type of enemy -- iron-deficiency anemia.
Iron-deficiency anemia, the most common form of anemia, is a decrease in the number of red blood cells caused by too little iron. Without sufficient iron, your body can't produce enough hemoglobin, a substance in red blood cells that makes it possible for them to carry oxygen to the body's tissues. As a result, you may feel weak, tired, and irritable.
About 20% of women, 50% of pregnant women, and 3% of men do not have enough iron in their body. The solution, in many cases, is to consume more foods high in iron.
How Your Body Uses Iron in Food
When you eat food with iron, iron is absorbed into your body mainly through the upper part of your small intestine.
There are two forms of dietary iron: heme and nonheme. Heme iron is derived from hemoglobin. It is found in animal foods that originally contained hemoglobin, such as red meats, fish, and poultry (meat, poultry, and seafood contain both heme and non-heme iron). Your body absorbs the most iron from heme sources. Most nonheme iron is from plant sources.
Very good sources of heme iron, with 3.5 milligrams or more per serving, include:
Good sources of heme iron, with 2.1 milligrams or more per serving, include:
3 ounces of cooked beef
3 ounces of canned sardines, canned in oil
Other sources of heme iron, with 0.6 milligrams or more per serving, include:
3 ounces of chicken
3 ounces of cooked turkey
3 ounces of ham
3 ounces of veal
Other sources of heme iron, with 0.3 milligrams or more per serving, include:
3 ounces of haddock, perch, salmon, or tuna
Iron in plant foods such as lentils, beans, and spinach is nonheme iron. This is the form of iron added to iron-enriched and iron-fortified foods. Our bodies are less efficient at absorbing nonheme iron, but most dietary iron is nonheme iron.
Very good sources of nonheme iron, with 3.5 milligrams or more per serving, include:
Good sources of nonheme iron, with 2.1 milligrams or more per serving, include:
One-half cup of canned lima beans, red kidney beans, or chickpeas
One cup of dried apricots
One cup of cooked enriched egg noodles
One-fourth cup of wheat germ
1 ounce of pumpkin, sesame, or squash seeds
Other sources of nonheme iron, with 0.7 milligrams or more, include:
One-half cup of cooked split peas
1 ounce of peanuts, pecans, walnuts, pistachios, roasted almonds, roasted cashews, or sunflower seeds
One-half cup of dried seedless raisins, peaches, or prunes
One medium stalk of broccoli
One cup of raw spinach
One cup of pasta (cooked, it becomes 3-4 cups)
One slice of bread, half of a small pumpernickel bagel, or bran muffin
One cup of brown or enriched rice
How to Get More Iron From Your Food
Some foods can help your body absorb iron from iron-rich foods; others can hinder it. To absorb the most iron from the foods you eat, avoid drinking coffee or tea or consuming calcium-rich foods or drinks with meals containing iron-rich foods. Calcium itself can interfere. To improve your absorption of iron, eat it along with a good source of vitamin C -- such as orange juice, broccoli, or strawberries -- or eat nonheme iron foods with a food from the meat, fish, and poultry group.
If you have trouble getting enough iron from food sources, you may need an iron supplement. But speak to your health care provider about the proper dosage first and follow their instructions carefully. Because very little iron is excreted from the body, iron can accumulate in body tissues and organs when the normal storage sites -- the liver, spleen, and bone marrow -- are full. Although iron toxicity from food sources is rare, deadly overdoses are possible with supplements.