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Are You Getting Enough Iron?

Imagine a car without wheels? How can you get to different places without the car’s wheels?  Think of the car’s name is Hemoglobin. The name of the passenger is oxygen and hemoglobin’s wheels are called iron. Oxygen cannot travel and become productive without completing hemoglobin’s elements for it to function well.

That is how vital iron is to your body. It functions as a ‘wheel’ that helps in transporting oxygen from the lungs to different parts of the body. Moreover, iron also helps your muscles store and use oxygen. Enzymes in your body are also built with iron. These enzymes help in your food digestion and other processes that happen inside the body which makes the body maintain its normal condition.

Iron must be supplied in your healthy diet in a reasonable amount to maintain the desired levels needed by the body. Inadequate amount of Iron leads to a condition called Iron Deficiency Anemia. It is a condition due to deficiency of iron in the body. This condition may greatly affect infant, pregnant women and adults as well.

For infants, insufficient amount of iron may lead to abnormality in movements or motor functions. In addition, iron deficiency among infants may affect their mental function or thinking skills. While for pregnant women, who needs much iron, inadequate amount of iron during pregnancy may lead to delivery of preterm babies (small or early delivery of babies).  These babies have a higher chance of getting diseases in their later stage of life and may even cause death.

To prevent these conditions, anemia must be prevented by following the recommended amount of iron for infants, pregnant and adults. Here is the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) that may serve as your guide in achieving normal amount of iron that may be obtained through food items rich in iron.

Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for iron by age and sex.

Age/Group

Life Stage

Iron (mg/day)

Infants

0–6 months

0.27*

 

7–12 months

11

Children

1–3 years

7

 

4–8 years

10

Males

9–13 years

8

 

14–18 years

11

 

19–30 years

8

 

31–50 years

8

 

51–70 years

8

 

>70 years

8

Females

9–13 years

8

 

14–18 years

15

 

19–30 years

18

 

31–50 years

18

 

51–70 years

8

 

>70 years

8

Pregnant Women

14–18 years

27

 

19–30 years

27

 

31–50 years

27

Lactating Women

14–18 years

10

 

19–30 years

9

 

31–50 years

9

Source:  Food and Nutrition Information Center of the USDA

In various age groups, increased need of iron is important to promote optimum health and prevent deficiency. One of which are the infants and toddlers, they need more iron than the older children because at this stage, rapid growth is observed and much iron is needed to support growth and development.

Pregnant women also need an additional amount of iron to support the baby’s need for the said nutrient, as well as maintain the amount needed by the mother. With this, anemia may be prevented to both the mother and the baby. Iron supplements are usually given to pregnant women to sustain the needed amounts aside from eating iron rich foods. Adults, especially the women need much iron also since women lose blood form monthly menstrual cycle.

Are You Getting Enough Iron?

 

Here are some of the food items that are rich in iron to help you get enough amounts and prevent Iron deficiency:

  • Lean Meat
  • Chicken or Beef Liver
  • Tuna
  • Turkey
  • Oysters
  • Soybeans
  • Lentils
  • Spinach
  • Olives
  • Sesame seeds
  • Dried beans
  • Dried fruits
  • Eggs (especially egg yolks)
  • Iron-fortified cereals

Iron has an important role in your everyday body processes that will help you lead a healthy lifestyle. These guidelines are suggested by Nutrition experts to help you achieve optimum health and avoid iron deficiency that can result to poor energy, fatigue, and low immunity to fight diseases.

Related Sampateek Links:

http://www.sampateek.com/en/healthy-food/healthy-food-guide

 

 

 

 

 

This article is written by Sarah Del Rosario, one of the health advicates from Sampateek.com. 

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