How to Get More Iron in Your Diet

dried figsIron is one of the essential minerals that is needed in the body in order to function normally. The body needs iron in order to make oxygen-carrying proteins such as hemoglobin, which is found in the red blood cells, and myoglobin, which is found in the muscles.

Low Iron Levels

The body stores some iron in order to replace what it uses up. But there are times that the body may not be getting the right amount of iron it needs. Low iron levels can lead to iron deficiency anemia. Symptoms may include, shortness of breath, fatigue, headaches, irritability as well as weight loss.

There are certain conditions which can bring about iron deficiency in people other than not being able to get the right amounts of the essential mineral in their diets. This may include women experiencing heavy menstrual periods. Pregnant women or those who have just had a baby may also easily experience some low iron levels. People with gastrointestinal conditions such as ulcers may also have a greater risk of lacking the needed amounts of iron in their bodies.

Getting Iron From the Diet

There are a number of ways in which people may be able to get the iron into their diet. The daily requirement would be 8 mg for both men and women. Women having their period may may need 18 mg daily while those who are pregnant may require 27 mg of iron daily in order to provide what the body needs.

It is also important for people to know which foods are the best sources of iron and try to add them in their daily diet. Some of the best sources for the essential mineral includes eggs, dried beans, liver, lean red meat, oysters, salmon, tuna, whole grains, and poultry. With many different types of food having good iron content, it can be fairly easy to vary one’s diet by mixing up the different iron-rich foods on different days in order to get a variety of different nutrients as well.

Another thing that people should know about is that vitamin C helps the body in absorbing iron. Getting the right amounts of vitamin C daily can also enhance the body’s ability to absorb the iron that it gets from the diet. Eating foods not only rich in iron but also in vitamin C such as citrus fruits, peppers and vegetables may aid the body in getting the iron that it needs.