Thursday, August 22, 2013

Iron: Dangers of Deficiency

Vitamins and minerals are important to our health and well-being. One example is iron. Iron is important to the functioning of our bodies. Iron helps create hemoglobin in our red blood cells. Hemoglobin is responsible for transporting oxygen through our blood. Iron is very important to our bodies staying healthy. Iron deficiency can be a dangerous condition.  If the deficiency progresses too far it can cause iron anemia. This means the body is not producing enough iron to produce the correct number of red blood cells and hemoglobin. To avoid this there are certain food that are good sources of iron. Humans absorb iron better from animal sources than from plants. Some of these animal sources include turkey, chicken, and fish. Some plant sources of iron include dark green leafy vegetables, beans (kidney, soybeans, and lentils), and whole-grains. Most people are not typically at risk for developing an iron deficiency but there are some population groups that are at higher risk. These include pregnant women, breastfeeding women, young children, and teens. If you fall into one of these categories this does not mean you will become deficient in iron, just make sure you are eating foods that have iron in them and eat a well-balanced diet.

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