4 Ways to Get More Iron (and Why You Need It)
By Genevieve Cunningham
When you hear the word iron, what do you think of? The first images that are conjured up in my mind include a board and wrinkled clothing. Maybe your first thought is a tough, hard metal that helps build structures all over the world. And yet still, thereâ€™s another kind of iron. The iron that we need in our bodies in order for them to function at optimal level. This kind of iron is crucial for our overall and long-term health.
But why do we need iron? Here are just a few of the functions of iron in our bodies:
It carries oxygen - You already know that your entire body needs oxygenated blood. Wonder how the oxygen gets from your lungs to the body? You have iron to thank for that.
It helps the muscles store oxygen - Iron also enables the muscles to store more oxygen for later use.
It helps maintain energy levels - A body that is starved for oxygen is one that is seriously exhausted. Low levels of iron may manifest in this way, causing excessive sleepiness for a long period of time.
So, how can I get more iron? Most of the time, we get enough iron through a healthy diet. Some iron rich foods to include in your regular menu include:
Red meat - Ground beef, steaks, ribs â€¦ all of these delicious meats contain healthy amounts of iron. This is why vegetarians are sometimes at risk for anemia, which it the medical term for low iron.
Chicken - If youâ€™re not keen on red meat, chop up some chicken and youâ€™re good to go.
Peas - For a non-meat option, buy some green peas for both a little protein and a little iron. It seems like a strange option for this mineral, sure, but it's a great way to get a dose.
Iron fortified cereal - Not all cereal has iron, so make sure that you read the label. If you buy an iron fortified version, itâ€™s a simple way to keep your iron levels where they should be.
Getting enough iron is an important part of your daily diet as well as keeping your body as fit as you possibly can. If you suspect low iron, make sure to see your doctor, as theyâ€™ll advise you on how to best fix the problem. And of course, add some of these healthy foods to the mix for an iron-rich diet that can last a lifetime.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Bothell, Wash.