Importance of Iron for Women
Feeling lethargic, dull, or just not your energetic self? You may be one of the millions of women in India who have Iron-deficiency. Iron deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency in the nation among women! Read on to know more about the signs of Iron deficiency and why they are important for women to pay heed to.
What is Iron and why is it crucial?
Iron is vital for our survival. Iron is the key constituent of hemoglobin, which enables red blood cells to transport oxygen throughout the body. It also plays a primary role in cell growth and differentiation, and the development of new cells, neurotransmitters, hormones, and amino acids. Yes, Iron is one precious mineral!
Symptoms of Iron deficiency:
● Reduced physical performance
● Decreased mental performance
● Diminished immune function
Why is Iron especially vital for women?
Younger, pre-menopausal women, mostly those who exercise regularly, are at a higher risk for developing iron deficiency and later becoming anemic. On average, the adult male has about 1,000 mg of stored Iron (adequate for 3 years), while women have just 300 mg (enough for only6 months). Menstruating women in specific exhaust these low stores quickly because of blood loss from their monthly cycle. Women with heavy flow periods hence are at a higher risk for having low Iron levels. If you are also an athlete you are at an even higher risk of being iron deficient. Athletes drain their Iron stores through their excess sweat, destruction of red blood cells, and gastrointestinal bleeding (linked with frequent consumption of anti-inflammatory medications). Pregnancy and breastfeeding also lead to an increase in your body’s demand for Iron and can lead to low levels of it.
What are the rich sources of Iron?
Your body cannot make Iron; the only way your body gets Iron is through the food you eat or by taking a nutritional supplement. Iron through diet comes in two forms: heme iron and nonheme iron. Non-heme Iron is less biologically available than heme-Iron. In other words, it is difficult for your body
to digest and absorb this type of mineral. Eating sources of heme iron, like meat, fish, and poultry, on a daily basis is an effortless way for most people to manage their Iron levels. Non-heme Iron is more challenging to digest and can be found in leafy greens, beans, and fortified foods. These foods, while healthy, are tough for your body to source Iron from. But before you start eating vegetables, here’s the good news: eating vitamin C with your non-heme Iron helps your body
absorb this important element. Next time you eat a leafy vegetable, try throwing in some lemon juice (or any other rich source of vitamin C) with your salad as a dressing! If you are looking for a nutritional supplement, you can also opt for EvaFizz’s Fe Effervescent tablets. It contains the fastest absorbing and bioavailable iron along with Vitamin C, Zinc, Folic Acid & Vitamin B12.
How can I check my Iron status?
There’s only one way to tell if your Iron levels are on normal levels: get your blood tested!
Here’s how the Iron biomarkers are measured:
● Hemoglobin – a protein that uses Iron in carrying oxygen throughout the blood
● Ferritin – measures the accumulated Iron in your blood
● Serum Iron – the quantity of Iron in the blood
● Total Iron Binding Capacity (TIBC) – measures the maximum quantity of iron your blood can carry.
● Unsaturated Iron Binding Capacity (UIBC) – TIBC minus serum Iron Transferrin Saturation (also known as Iron Saturation) minus Serum Iron divided by TIBC and multiplied by 100. It shows the amount of Iron in the blood that is bound by transferrin.
Iron has always been a topic of grave importance for women. There are ways through which you can consume iron but the fastest way is nutritional supplements.