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Iron! Why is it important?

veganly vitamins Iron! Why is it important?

Iron is a mineral that is found in numerous foods, it is crucial to the proper functioning of the body. It strengthens the immune system, is responsible for various bodily functions and helps with energy levels. Iron is easy to absorb as it is present in most vegetables, grains, meat and fish.

The sufficient intake of iron in your daily diet can yield some useful benefits:

  • Helps in the production of hemoglobin – an important component of blood. It is responsible for carrying the blood to different body parts.
  • Aids in the transport of oxygen from one cell to another, all over the body
  • Improves muscle and brain function as a result of being a good oxygen carrier and thus, improves mental and physical performance

Iron Deficiency

Anemia is the biggest problem caused by an iron deficiency. Anemia refers to a state where the amount of red blood cells in the body is insufficient. This in turn affects various organs in the body and could lead to serious problems. Anemia is not the only problem caused by an iron deficiency, but it is definitely one of the most common. People who are more at risk of anemia include pregnant women, those who experience frequent blood loss (including menstruation), athletes, and those on kidney dialysis.

Common symptoms of anemia include:

  • Chronic fatigue due to a lack of oxygen supplied to cells and tissues
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Restless leg syndrome and general non-stop fidgeting
  • Reduced immunity
  • Slow social and cognitive development in children

What should vegans and vegetarians know about iron?

With iron, how much you consume is not as important as how much is absorbed. Non-vegetarians might consume higher amounts but there is no data to suggest that vegans and vegetarians have lower amounts in their bodies. Legumes, nuts, seeds, vegetables and grains are good vegan sources of iron and foods containing vitamin C are particularly good for boosting the absorption of iron. A balanced diet containing a variety of these foods allow vegans and vegetarians to fulfil their daily iron needs.

 

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