Iron is a mineral that played an important role in your body. Most of the iron in the body can be found in the hemoglobin of red blood cells and also in the myoglobin of muscle cells. This nutrient becomes very vital in the body due to its ability to transport oxygen from the respiratory organs such as the lungs to other parts of the body. In addition, this nutrient will always be maintained to stay energetic throughout the day.
20 Benefits of Iron You Should Keep in Mind:
I bet you already know that it is really beneficial to have enough iron in the body. But do you know all the benefits of iron that you could get? Here are the benefits of iron for your body’s health that you should know.
1. Improve Hemoglobin Formation:
- The main benefits of having enough iron in the body is mainly because it can stimulate the release of hemoglobin formation.
- Hemoglobin played a vital role in the transport of oxygen from the respiratory organs to other parts of the body.
- The addition of hemoglobin in the body would be very valuable since each person tends to lose a lot of blood through some injuries, both internal and external, or during the menstrual period in women.
- The hemoglobin aggregate will prevent you from anemia.
2. Regulation of Body Temperature:
- Iron is very beneficial for regulating body temperature according to the body’s absorption capacity.
- When the temperature of your body is regulated by the iron, it means that its temperature will be stable, which allows metabolic and enzymatic functions to maximize your performance in your best environments and general temperatures.
3. Treatment of Iron Deficiency Anemia:
- When your body lacks iron, you are more likely to suffer from a disease called iron deficiency anemia.
- If you leave it untreated, this would be really dangerous since you need a blood transfusion or an intravenous iron therapy to cure it.
- If you want to avoid this disease, you must make sure you have enough iron in your body.
- This disease is also the most common nutritional deficiency that can occur in the human body.
4. Oxygen Carrier:
- This is one of the most important benefits that can be obtained from an iron.
- Iron is widely known for taking a large part to transfer oxygen from the lungs to other cells and tissues in your body due to the hemoglobin compounds it contains.
- It is very vital since all the organ systems in your body need oxygen to perform their own routine functions properly.
5. Prevent Chronic Fatigue:
- Iron is one of the most important nutrients in your body to prevent unexplained chronic fatigue.
- This mineral could protect you from sudden fatigue because iron has a high amount of hemoglobin.
- This hemoglobin will transport oxygen from the respiratory organs to the other parts of your body, which will make it more energetic, healthy and fit, even in your diet.
- A study conducted at the University of Melbourne shows that iron helps improve the performance of women in exercise.
6. Energy Metabolism:
- This benefit is strongly related to the health benefits of iron already mentioned in number 4.
- Iron is one of the nutrients that played a vital role in the metabolism process.
- The hemoglobin contained in iron can stimulate the metabolism process in the body, which will then transport energy from the food you just ate to every part of the organ in your body.
7. Improves Appetite:
- This is good news for all parents who currently care about their children’s appetites.
- Sometimes, or in most cases, parents found it really difficult to find the solution to improve their child’s appetite.
- There is a study by The Journal on Nutrition about children in Kenya’s elementary school, which resulted in the iron supplement improving appetite and growth among children.
8. Relieves Pre-Menstrual Symptoms:
- Some studies conducted at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst showed that iron could be beneficial to relieve some premenstrual symptoms that can cause some discomfort such as dizziness, mood swings and hypertension.
- The result of that study is that women who enjoy a diet rich in iron will be less likely to suffer from any symptoms associated with pre-menstruality of up to 40 percent compared to women who consume less iron foods in their diet.
9. Healthier Pregnancy:
- A report from a Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews study shows that early or prenatal iron supplementation will protect all women during their pregnancy from maternal anemia.
- In addition, iron supplements will protect your baby from the risk of low birth weight.
- Therefore, all pregnant women who consume foods that contain large amounts of iron in greater amounts than women who are not going to get pregnant are strongly recommended.
- The absorption of iron in the body would be very gentle if combined with foods that contain large amounts of vitamin C.
10. Prevents Hair Loss:
- The iron is also very beneficial for hair health.
- Iron will help transport oxygen from the respiratory organs to other parts of the body, including hair.
- In addition, iron can stimulate the absorption of nutrients from food and transport them to other parts of the body, including hair.
- This will cause the hair and scalp roots to receive enough oxygen and nutrients that will then strengthen the hair.
- A study of Dermatology shows that women who suffer from iron deficiency will experience excessive hair loss, especially in non-menopausal women.
11. Improves Muscle Health:
- Iron is also very essential to maintain the health of our muscles, since iron stimulates the release of myoglobin.
- Myoglobin is one of the muscle proteins, which carries oxygen that carries hemoglobin and then stores oxygen in muscle cells.
- The oxygen contained in muscle cells will help the muscle to contract.
- Without an iron, the chances of your muscle losing its elasticity will be greater.
12. Prevents Restless Legs Syndrome:
- Restless legs syndrome is a neurological movement disorder that makes one want to move the legs repeatedly over and over again.
- This disorder can cause some problems related to the quality of your sleep, because you will feel the need to move your legs frequently.
- You will be more prone to suffer from this restless legs syndrome since this disease is widely associated with iron deficiency.
- There was study evidence that lack of iron in the body will stimulate this disease.
13. Improves Brain Function and Developments:
- This is one of the most important benefits that can be obtained from an iron.
- Iron played a vital role in transporting oxygen to your blood, and therefore the effects will be directly on your brain.
- Your brain uses about 20 percent of oxygen in the blood, so it is very important that oxygen is properly transferred to the blood, since adequate blood flow to the brain will trigger cognitive activity and prevent the brain from suffering cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s, or even a stroke.
- A Pediatric Neurology seminar also showed that babies suffering from iron deficiency are more likely to have a problem related to their cognitive and neuropsychiatric development.
- Therefore, women who are going to get pregnant should make sure they are eating foods that contain iron for the health of their babies.
14. Increase your Concentration:
- This benefit is closely related to the health benefits of iron related to brain development.
- If you have enough iron in the body, your blood supply to the brain will work properly, therefore, you will maintain your concentration while doing your activity.
- In addition, your cognitive and mental performance will improve due to this adequate blood supply to your brain.
15. Stimulates your Immune System:
- You already know that iron contains hemoglobin, which will help your body transport oxygen to other parts of the body.
- This hemoglobin will then stimulate the activity of red blood cells.
- Red blood cells are commonly known for their ability to deliver oxygen to damaged cells, organs or tissues.
- This activity of the red blood cells will protect you from any infection that could occur to your disease.
16. Cure Anemia:
- Some studies show that iron may help protect against any disease associated with anemia.
- First, iron will be beneficial to cure anemia in a pregnant woman.
- Pregnant women generally lose a lot of blood during the birth of their babies, and iron supplies a high amount of red blood cells to replace lost blood.
- Iron can also cure another type of anemia called pre-dialysis anemia and anemia due to kidney failure.
- Because these diseases can be very complicated and dangerous for your own safety, you cannot rely solely on iron, and you need to see a doctor immediately.
17. Promotes a Better Dream:
- It is revealed that sleep can help to obtain a better quality of sleep and the treatment of insomnia, since iron can regulate circadian rhythms.
- In addition, adequate blood circulation will make blood pressure more stable and you can relax more than before.
- Iron may also relieve restless legs syndrome that has been explained above, which often causes people to be up all night.
18. Improves Skin Luminosity:
- The lack of iron in the body will lead to several diseases, such as anemia, for example.
- In most cases, anemia will affect your overall appearance and your skin will be paler than before, and also the dark circle will appear just below your eyes.
- Lack of iron leads to a hemoglobin deficiency, which means that oxygen does not flow properly.
- If the flow of oxygen is interrupted, your skin will look so pale that it will affect your appearance.
- Eating foods that contain a large amount of iron will make your skin radiant and healthy, of course.
19. Heal Wounds:
- Iron can also make your wounds disappear from your body in no time.
- If you have enough iron in your body, the formation of red blood cells will occur suddenly and then they will provide oxygen for damaged wounds.
- This proper flow of oxygen will make your wounds disappear and allow you to experience a rapid recovery.
20. Synthesis of Neuro Transmitters:
- It is also revealed that the neurotransmitter could stimulate the synthesis of essential neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine.
- These neurotransmitters played a vital role in different activities in the human brain.
Types of Iron and List of Foods that Contain Iron:
Well, now you know that you need a sufficient amount of iron since it is very important for your body. But do you know what kind of foods contain a high amount of iron? Before we look for that answer, we first need to know that there are two types of iron that you can use for your body, which are heme iron and non-heme iron.
- Heme iron is only found in animal sources.
- You should consume these types of iron if you want to increase or maintain good levels of iron in your body since your body absorbs most of the iron in your body from this heme iron.
These are foods that contain high amounts of heme iron that could be very beneficial for your body.
- Beef or chicken liver
- Salmon – Veal
- Tuna – Sardines
- Cooked beef – Perch
- Cooked turkey – Ham
Meanwhile, iron not heme can only be found in plant sources. These types of iron are less absorbed by the body. Therefore, you need the addition of vitamin C to make these types of iron can be absorbed in greater amounts by your body.
- Cereals – Tofu – Whole grains
- Baked potatoes – Cooked beans – Rice
- Broccoli – Chickpeas – Bread
- Apricot – Spinach – Pasta
Side Effects and Warnings on Iron:
Although iron will give us many benefits, there are also some side effects that can happen to you if you take it too much. These are some of the symptoms that could happen to you if you take too much iron.
1. Cardiovascular Diseases:
There is a study conducted at the University of Indiana that shows that if you consume heme iron that it contains in excess in a meat, you will be more prone to suffer from heart disease up to 57 percent higher than before. Therefore, you should consume heme iron in a moderate amount and, therefore, it is necessary to change it for non-heme iron, since this type of iron has no side effects.
2. Cancer Risk:
An expert study found a connection between iron and an increased risk of colorectal cancer. Excessive iron consumption will make it a high risk of cancer.
3. Gastrointestinal Problems:
In most cases, the most common and practical solution to add some iron in the body is to take iron supplements.
“But, these iron supplements could bring dangerous symptoms related to gastroenteritis, such as diarrhea, constipation and nausea”.
4. Neurodegenerative Diseases:
- It is true that iron would be very beneficial for the brain.
- But we have to agree and understand that everything, even the good one, would not be good if we took it too often.
- Iron is no exception.
- The excessive amount of iron can make your brain susceptible to oxidative damage that could lead to diseases associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Now you know the true benefits of iron. Therefore, since iron is one of the most important nutrients in the body, and it played a vital role in transporting oxygen from the respiratory organs to the other parts of your body, you need to make sure you already have an amount Enough of iron in your body. If you have an insufficient amount of iron, try to consume iron-rich foods that were already described above.