Health BENEFITS of Iron:
- necessary for producing hemoglobin in red blood cells
- helps store and transport oxygen throughout the body
- assists white blood cells in fighting bacteria
- supports a healthy immune system
- important for proper muscle and brain function
- helps change beta carotene into Vitamin A
- protects cells against the damaging effects of free radicals
- supports energy production and helps prevent fatigue
- helps with production of thyroid hormone and dopamine
Foods HIGH in Iron:
- beet greens
- bok choy
- collard greens
- dark chocolate
- pumpkin seeds
- sea vegetables
- sesame seeds
- sweet potato
- Swiss chard
Things to KNOW About Iron:
Iron is a key element in the metabolism of almost every living organism.
There are two forms of dietary iron:
Heme iron is only found in meat, poultry, and fish. However, animal foods also contain some non-heme iron, thus they contain a combination of both heme and non-heme iron. Approximately half of the total iron in animal foods is non-heme iron. Heme iron is easier for the body to absorb than non-heme iron.
Non-heme iron is found in vegetables, fruits, beans, grains, nuts, and seeds. It's also found in eggs and dairy products. Non-heme iron is not absorbed as well as heme iron. However, the absorption of non-heme iron can be enhanced by consuming foods high in vitamin C along with the heme-iron food.
Extra iron in the body is stored in the liver, bone marrow, spleen, and muscles. An iron deficiency can lead to anemia. Anemia occurs when the red blood cell count is low. This causes reduced oxygen flow to the organs which can result in fatigue.