Reasons why you should include Iron supplements to your diet

Can you climb up the stairs without getting winded though you’re physically fit? Have you felt exhausted lately? If yes, then you might be iron deficient, especially women face the deficiency of iron in their body. Iron is an essential nutrient. It’s essential to make hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying pigment found inside the red blood cells. Red blood cells transport oxygen from the lungs to organs and tissues throughout your body. Hemoglobin represents about two-thirds of the body’s iron. Iron helps in producing energy and keeps your immune, reproductive and central nervous system healthy. Food that we consume provides enough iron that our body needs but there are certain conditions or requirements where your body demands more iron and so it becomes necessary to add iron supplements to your diet.

Anemia: deficiency of iron

Anemia is caused due to the decrease in the number of red blood cells or hemoglobin in the blood. The symptoms of anemia are vague; they include weakness, fatigue, shortness of breath and sometimes poor concentration.  According to the study, India has the highest prevalence of anemia. The prevalence of anemia in Indian women is even higher, around 50% of women have low hemoglobin levels. It is found that due to poor eating habit, skipping meals, less intake of fruits, vitamins, prolonged flow of blood during menstruation, peptic ulcer disease, cancer in the digestive tract, blood loss due to blood donation or trauma, gastrointestinal bleeding due to regular usage of aspirin or ibuprofen and even the difficulty in diagnosing are some of the major reasons behind such a high prevalence of anemia.

Iron for infants

When in womb babies build stores of excess iron from their mothers. These stored irons help them during their first six months of life while they are dependent on their mother’s milk. Those infants who are not breastfed or are partially breastfed iron-fortified foods should be included in their diet. Premature babies who haven’t had enough time to build stores are more likely require iron supplements. Check with your doctor and then provide supplements to your infants.

During pregnancy

When a woman is pregnant, she needs twice the amount of iron she took when expecting. The body consumes the double amount of iron to make extra blood for the mother and the baby. Around 50 to 80% of Indian mothers suffer from anemia due to a deficiency of iron in their diet. A pregnant woman needs 27 milligrams of iron daily. Do not increase the dosage of the prenatal vitamin to increase iron rather it will increase excess vitamin level and may hurt your little one. Therefore, consult a doctor and take supplements.

 

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Monthly discharge of blood

Menstruation drains out your stores of iron every month. This is one of the main reasons why women have higher rates than men. Women above 18 years of age should consume 18 milligrams of iron daily. A woman needs a proper diet that includes food that is rich in iron. Iron supplements can work wonders on improving the quality of a woman's life. Women require a higher level of iron when on periods to prevent iron-deficiency anemia. To cope up with the deficiency of blood one needs to consume iron supplements to restore back the correct amount of iron and helping them from fatigue and tiredness.

Iron for infants

When in womb babies build stores of excess iron from their mothers. These stored irons help them during their first six months of life while they are dependent on their mother’s milk. Those infants who are not breastfed or are partially breastfed iron-fortified foods should be included in their diet. Premature babies who haven’t had enough time to build stores are more likely require iron supplements. Check with your doctor and then provide supplements to your infants.

People who practice intense exercise may require more iron than less active adults. Female athletes are at higher risk of iron deficiency. There is this known theory that when you exercise vigorously the iron cycles through the body swiftly. Researchers say that athletes require more red blood cells to carry oxygen so they can keep exercising without any break.

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