Iron is considered to be one of the essential nutrients for the proper growth and development of human body. Lack of iron or deficiency of it can lead to several iron deficiency diseases like anemia. Iron present in the body helps in the production of hemoglobin and red blood cells. It is essential as it helps in blood production in the body. Hemoglobin which is produced by iron is used in transferring of oxygen from lungs to the tissues in different parts of the body. Iron is also needed in the proper functioning of our immune system. In this article, let’s see the health benefits of iron in details.
Storage Of Iron In Human Body
According to the doctors, 26 percent of iron in our body is stored as ferritin, which are found in cells and then transmitted to the other parts of the body. It is said that male body has around 1000 mg of iron stored in it which is enough for about 3 years. In comparison to that female body has only 300mg of iron stored. When this iron intake becomes low, the stored become depleted and thus resulting in decrease in the hemoglobin level.
Sources of Iron
Our body cannot prepare iron on its own, so to maintain the amount of iron in body iron rich foods are taken. Some foods are very rich source of iron and needs to include in our regular diet.
Few foods which are the great source of iron are – Lean Beef, Pork, Lamb, Chicken, Green Vegetables, Tofu, Fish, Beans, Sweet Peas, Corns, Beet, Cabbages and much more.
Have a look at these health benefits of iron.
Health Benefits Of Iron
1. Haemoglobin Formation
- Haemoglobin is an important component in the blood and its vital function is to supply oxygen to the various organs in the body.
- Iron forms an essential element in the haemoglobin and hence its presence is extremely important by the body.
- Moreover our body is likely to undergo bruises and cuts every now and then. Also, we suffer from internal and external injuries and suffer severe blood loss. Therefore, eating food which is rich in iron helps to a great extent.
- It is even more surprising to know that the dark colour of the blood is due to the presence of iron in the blood.
2. Health Benefits of Iron Maintain Proper Muscle Functioning
Iron is an essential element for proper muscle functioning. The muscles in the body require a constant supply of oxygen for contraction and relaxation of the muscles. The same is fulfilled by the iron content in the body.
Muscle weakness, fatigue, loss of elasticity etc. are the first signs that you might be suffering from anemia. Therefore, it is highly recommended that eating iron rich food keeps you aloof from any health problems.
3. Proper Brain Functioning
Oxygen is very essential for brain functioning. Human brain absorbs approximately 20% of oxygen present in the blood and hence it requires iron for this purpose.
Human brain needs blood supply continuously for its proper functioning. Therefore iron becomes an important element and lack of it can lead to serious mental issues like Alzheimer’s disease, dementia etc.
We bring for you the list of some essential and healthy brain foods. See here…
4. Maintenance Of Body Temperature
Health benefits of iron include the regulation of the body temperature. In other words, it means that it controls the metabolic and catabolic process in the body and helps them to function at their optimal level.
Every individual is different and the same holds true for their absorption capacity as well. The presence of sufficient amount of iron regulates this capacity and thereby contributes to the well being of human beings.
5. Acts As Oxygen Carrier
- The most important advantage of iron in the body is it supplies oxygen to different parts of the body and hence is vital for the body.
- Iron is an important component in the haemoglobin and serves as an oxygen carrier in the body.
6. Health Benefits of Iron Makes You Feel Energetic
As iron is the carrier of oxygen, therefore it makes you feel energetic. Hence it is recommended to eat diet rich in iron when you undergo rigorous exercises. It supplies blood to muscles and different body parts which make you feel energetic and you do not feel tired soon.
On the contrary, lower levels of iron in the body can result in fatigue, irritation, unwillingness to do work etc.
7. Increases Appetite
- Iron is an appetite booster. Therefore, for people who are weak or lag the willingness to eat iron is the best medicine.
- Even kids exhibit lot of trouble in eating food. Give them a diet rich in iron and this will increase their appetite.
8. Healthy Pregnancy
Doctors often prescribe iron tablets and a diet rich in iron for pregnant ladies. This is because women have the maximum risk to suffer from anaemia during pregnancy. Also, it prevents the risk of underweight babies. It is recommended that women should intake at least 27mg of iron daily at the time of pregnancy.
9. Health Benefits of Iron Boosts Immunity
Iron helps to boosts immunity. Iron has several components present in it which can fight against diseases and increases immunity in the body. It offers resistance to disease when the body is actually going through a tough phase like the menstrual cycle or pregnancy.
10. Restless Leg Condition
Restless leg syndrome is a condition which is related to severe nerve disorder. The body continuously gets signals to move the legs frequently even while at sleep. The condition can worsen if not attended immediately.
The syndrome causes a disturbance in sleep and can lead to further health problems. Iron can be beneficial in such cases and eating iron rich food can help to cure the syndrome over a period of time.
Skin Benefits of Iron
Iron is extremely useful for the skin and keeps your skin fresh and glowing. It also helps in the healing of cuts and bruises in the body.
1. Renders A Glowing Skin
Very few of us know that the presence of iron in the body can impart a flawless glowing skin. Usually our skin looks dull and dark circles form under the eyes due to the lack of haemoglobin in the red blood cells. Eating an iron-rich diet can help to increase the blood. The areas which were deprived of sufficient amount of oxygen will restore the supply and your skin will look flawless with a pinkish touch in it.
2. Heals Cuts And Bruises On The Skin
If you are suffering from painful wounds, then eating iron rich food is the best remedy. The iron increases the oxygen supply to the cut surfaces and helps in the formation of red blood cells. This, in turn, speeds up the healing process.
Hair Benefits Of Iron
1. Hair Loss Remedy
It is a common observation that pregnant ladies get thick hair during pregnancy and post pregnancy the hair loss is severe.
The reason behind this is pregnant ladies are usually advised to eat iron rich diet and in some cases are also given iron tablets but post pregnancy one stops consuming the same which results in hair loss.
Hence, during hair loss opting for iron rich diet is the ideal thing to do. It also improves the hair texture and you get smooth and glossy hair. Iron deficiency mostly results in loss of hair so next time you get severe hair fall you know what needs to be done.
Risks Associated With The Deficiency Of Iron
The presence of less and high amount of iron in the body can lead to a number of diseases which are discussed below-
The biggest health issue associated with iron is anaemia in which the production of red blood cells is very low in the body. This can result in fatigue, muscle weakness, headache etc. In severe cases it can also result in kidney failure, low blood pressure and even leukemia.
2. Cardiovascular Disease
An excess consumption of iron in the body can result in cardiovascular diseases. Iron obtained from vegetarian diet do not have an impact on the heart, however, the ones from red meat can have severe health effects. Therefore, it is advisable to restrict the iron intake in the body.
Excessive deposits of iron in the body can lead to various forms of cancer especially lymphoma, rectal and colon cancer. Although iron is important for our body, its consumption should be limited.
4. Brain And Neurological Disease
The iron deposits may restrict the blood supply to the brain which may result in brain diseases like Alzheimer. It also results in neurological diseases which becomes extremely difficult to recover.
Vegetarian And Non-Vegetarian Sources Of Iron
The vegetarian and non-vegetarian sources are also known as non-heme and heme respectively. Here we list out the various foods from which you can meet your iron requirements daily.
Vegetarian Sources Of Iron
This includes mostly vegetables like beans, turnips, leafy vegetables, pumpkins etc. along with other products like legumes, lentils, dairy products and tofu.
The non-heme source of iron should be taken with Vitamin C rich food as it helps in the absorption of iron in the body.
Non-Vegetarian Sources of Iron
This mostly include lean meat, chicken liver, lamb, oysters, tuna fish etc. Although these sources are excellent for maintaining the iron levels in the body, however excess consumption of this food can be dangerous for the health.
Iron is definitely required by the body as it is an oxygen carrier and is a must. Because of health benefits of iron, you can opt for the foods mentioned in the article and stay healthy and fit. However, in case of extreme weakness, pregnancy, severe menstrual cramps it is advisable to see a doctor.
At the same time, do not consume too much of iron rich food as that too may have a negative effect on the health. Either ways, it can cause health issues and consume food but under control.
Hope you have found this article useful. In case of any suggestion or feedback, please share the same in the comments section below.