We all know about iron. Iron is that mineral we need to keep our blood healthy. In fact, iron helps to make the red blood cells in the first place and these red blood cells get oxygen into the cells of the body. That’s why when a person is deficient in iron they’re anemic, which causes both tiredness and, ironically, insomnia.
Even a mild iron deficiency can make a person feel draggy and depressed. A good iron intake is also important for children’s cognitive abilities and the retention of memory. A person who thinks he or she might be deficient in iron should check with his or her doctor before loading up on supplements, though. That’s because some people can store too much iron. Fortunately, the cure for that is simple. People who have too much iron in the body are urged to give blood regularly. This is a rare treatment that’s not only good for the person but is good for others!
In most people, however, iron is used very efficiently as it’s normally neither destroyed nor used up. The body simply stores it, mostly in the liver, the bone marrow, the blood and the spleen and uses it over and over again. Vitamin C and Vitamin E help the body assimilate iron. Iron from animal sources is more easier to absorb than iron from vegetables. Iron also needs to be in balance with calcium and phosphorus and gastric juices to be absorbed properly.
Where to find it:
The foods that are rich in iron are what a person might suspect: calf’s liver is high in iron, as is most red meat. Other food sources that are rich in iron are clams, raisins, tomato juice and garbanzo beans. Soybean products like tofu and boiled edamame are also high in iron, as are hulled and dried pumpkin seeds. Green, leafy vegetables are also abundant in iron, but it’s harder for the body to absorb.
I eat red meat at least two days a week and leafy green vegetables just about daily. Lucky for me my offspring is quite the carnivore and will eat meat daily if I make it. Liver is in most canned cat and dog food as well, so your fury friends have ways to get the goods too! How do you get your daily dose of iron?