Biologically, Iron is a mineral that is essential to the human body. Maintaining proper levels of iron is necessary for overall health and required for your body to function correctly. Though the amount of iron your body needs can depend on a variety of factors such as age, sex and weight, generally speaking your body does not need a lot of iron, but some is absolutely essential for the production of energy, transportation of oxygen, hormonal synthesis, growth and development of cerebral functions, cellular health and immunity.
Why It’s Crucial to Check Your Iron Levels
As you probably are aware, iron is a very common metal found in the earth (it is the forth most abundant element in the world). Known to man as a workable metal for tools, construction, weapons, etc. since about 1200 b.c., today it still represents about 90% of the metal produced and used.
Garden of Life Iron Complex – Vitamin Code Raw Iron Whole Food Vitamin Supplement, Vegan, 30 Capsules
For the human body, iron is a crucial component of hundreds of proteins and enzymes that are essential for human health. Hemoglobin’s are a protein in our red blood cells that transport oxygen to every cell in our body. Hemoglobin’s represent about 70% of the iron in our body. If you find that you are inexplicably fatigued, iron deficiency could be your problem. In fact, since 30% of the world is assumed to be iron deficient, according to the World Organization for Health. Some of the reasons are poor diet, normal use of energy, loss of blood (including menstruation). Anemic people, suffer from a low level of red blood cells and hemoglobin’s. Though there are several types of anemia, the deficiency of iron is the most common with 1.62 million people affected world wide.
There are two types of iron, Heme and non-Heme. Which means, derived from blood and animal flesh (Heme), or derived from vegetables, nuts, molasses, curry and beans. Though though Heme-iron is more easily absorbed, the average person only gets about 10-20% of their iron in this form. Due to the presence of vitamin C in non-Heme forms of iron, the mineral is processed by the body more efficiently. Also, plants have a higher concentration of iron than meat. Meaning, you have to eat fewer calories of spinach (for example) than steak to get the same amount of iron.
Regardless, a balanced diet with sources of both Heme and non-Heme iron is preferred. But the good news is that both meat lovers and vegetarians should have no trouble getting their necessary level of iron just by eating their foods organically grown and grass fed.