Natural Health Tips

Nutrition Basics: Know Your Minerals: Iron

The mineral iron is an essential component of blood; two thirds of the body's iron is found in the pigment of red blood cells called haemoglobin. These cells transport the oxygen in the bloodstream all around the body. The remainder of iron in the body is found in the muscles, bone marrow, liver and spleen and is also used in building bone and keeping hair and nails strong. The present of calcium and copper in the body are essential for iron to function properly and Vitamin C aids the absorption of iron.

Iron deficiency is signified by anemia and is particularly common in young girls and women with heavy menstruation. Signs of iron deficiency are:

  • a pale complexion
  • hair loss
  • lethargy
  • repeated infections
  • a loss of appetite

So what foods are iron rich?

Good food sources of iron are:

Sufficient levels of iron in the body create a strong immune system and increase the body's resistance to disease so it is essential that your diet includes a good source of iron rich foods.