For anyone to have good blood health, they need to have just the right amount of iron in their system. This vital nutrient is responsible for the smooth functioning of the blood and even the body at large.
A lack of this vital nutrient could lead to common deficiencies like anaemia. Iron is needed in good numbers because it is necessary for producing haemoglobin, which transports oxygen-rich blood all over the body.
Iron is always a nutrient of concern. Questions like if it is safe to consume iron with vitamin D are only one of such concerns. In this post, we'll take a closer look at iron, showcasing how it prevents anaemia.
Iron is one mineral your body can’t do without. It is known for a variety of purposes. The most important is, iron is a component of haemoglobin. Haem is ain protein that transports oxygen from the lungs to every cell in the body.
The red blood cells contain this haemoglobin which enhances transportation. Irons also play a vital role in building up muscles.
Anaemia is a disorder becoming more common in today's world. It is due to either unhealthy red blood cells or an iron deficiency. Iron deficiency anaemia is the prevalent type of anaemia.
As the name suggests, it is caused by a lack of iron, which the body needs, to produce enough haemoglobin, a substance that makes it possible for the blood to transport oxygen.
Hence, iron deficiency anaemia may make you feel lethargic and breathless.
Role of iron in blood health and anaemia prevention
The relationship between iron, blood health and anaemia has been established above. Iron plays an essential role in blood health and anaemia. It is vital for haemoglobin production, the only component capable of moving oxygen throughout the body.
An absence of iron would result in the circulation of blood-lacking oxygen. This lack of oxygen results in tiredness, breathing difficulty, lightheadedness and other symptoms seen in anaemia.
The most feasible way to treat this blood abnormality is an intake of iron.
Consuming iron-foods is a great way to lower your risk of developing iron deficiency anaemia. Some of the foods include;
- Red meat
- Dried fruit like apricots and raisins
- Leafy vegetables like spinach
- Pasta with added iron
Also, vitamin C helps the body absorb iron better. Hence, take meals high in vitamin C together with high-iron diets.
Some individuals are more prone to iron deficiency anaemia than others. They include;
Iron deficiency is common among women as they lose a lot of blood during menstruation.
Infants or babies
Infants experience a growth spurt and thus require more iron. Kids who do not get enough iron through breast milk or formula, particularly those with low birth weight risk an iron deficiency.
Vegetarians' or vegans'
Meat is known to be the highest source of iron. Iron tops the chart for the best nutrient for vegans. Hence, vegans and vegetarians might need to consume more iron-rich plant foods. Else, they may be more susceptible to iron deficiency anaemia.
Frequent blood donors
Anything that has to do with blood loss has a toll on the iron level. Therefore, regular blood donors may be more susceptible to iron deficiency anaemia. Iron supplements always come in handy in curtailing most of these risk factors.
For more severe factors like internal bleeding, additional testing or therapies for iron deficiency anaemia may occasionally be required.
Preventing newborn iron deficient anaemia
Breastfeeding infants for the first year is a way to prevent an iron deficiency. In cases where this isn’t possible, iron-fortified products could be a good option. Cow milk is no good source of iron for newborns. Thus you should keep those away from your babies.
Lastly, it is nice to not allow your kids to get too used to milk after age one, as too much milk could easily replace other foods, such as those high in iron.
When your body doesn't have enough iron, anaemia kicks in. Hence, it is safe to say iron is crucial in keeping a healthy blood state. Eat iron-rich diets, take an iron supplement and consult your doctor to be on the safer side!