You can tell iron is an
important nutrient by the amount of supermarket products that
are advertised as 'iron enriched'. Unfortunately, many of these
products are enriched from ferrous, not ferric, compounds, which
is more difficult for the body to absorb. Iron is found in many
plants, but even that is often in a form that is difficult to
absorb (some iron-rich vegetables like spinach also contain
oxalic acid, which interferes with the absorption of iron and
other minerals). Vitamin C greatly improves iron absorption.
Natural Food Sources
Enriched bread, beans, blackstrap molasses, chickpeas, clams,
egg yolk, fish, green leafy vegetables, lentils, liver, mussels,
oysters, peaches, prunes, raisons, red meat, seaweed, seeds,
Iron binds with hemoglobin molecules and carries oxygen in your
blood and throughout your body. It is involved in enzyme
activities related to energy storage and availability. Iron also
forms part of several enzymes and proteins in the body.
Iron deficiency can lead to anemia, which causes lethargy, poor
concentration, pale skin and shortness of breath. Vegetarians
have to ensure they get an adequate iron intake, as do
menstruating or pregnant women.
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