Top Reasons Why Women Need More Iron
Have you been told that you look pale, or you have been feeling tired and dizzy for no apparent reason? These could be symptoms of iron deficiency. Especially, in grown up women, lack of iron is common. While iron is significant for several reasons, the most vital is blood production. Bleeding can cause women to lose more blood cells and iron than the body can replace. Women may have low iron levels from bleeding caused by -
- Ulcers, colon polyps, or colon cancer
- Regular, long-term use of aspirin and other over-the-counter pain relievers
- Heavier or longer than normal menstrual periods
- Uterine fibroids, which are noncancerous growths in the uterus that can cause heavy bleeding
Iron is an essential nutrient in every individual, but certain health requirements, or physical requirements make women top contenders for iron, compared to men. While it is a known fact that pregnancy and menstruation are two major reasons for this, it is good to know what actually makes these two to cause more requirement of iron. Multitasking women to home-makers, women need more energy to become an all-rounder on the home front and her professional front. Read on to know the reasons why women, typically, require more iron –
Despite all measures, even the fittest of women can develop iron deficiency during pregnancy. During pregnancy, iron supplements are recommended because it helps produce the placenta, which is a portion of the womb that develops in the uterus. Iron assists the baby's development for six months after birth, implying that the baby stores it for later use. The body utilizes iron to generate hemoglobin, which transports oxygen to other cells, therefore a woman's blood volume increases during pregnancy. If a woman does not get enough iron, her body struggles to make the necessary number of red blood cells for the extra blood. Women who have morning sickness or who are pregnant with more than one child may require more iron than they can get through their dietary intake.
Pregnant women who are iron deficient are more likely to have a preterm or low-birth-weight baby, which can have a negative impact on the baby's short- and long-term health (1). Red meat is the best source of iron, with chicken and fish providing smaller amounts. Plant foods such as legumes, nuts, wholegrain breads and cereals, and green leafy vegetables also contain iron, but it is not as effectively absorbed. Iron absorption can be improved by eating vitamin C-rich foods alongside iron-rich diets. If pregnant women are unable to satisfy their iron requirements through food alone, they are usually recommended iron supplements.
Periods are something that women can't avoid, no matter how painful or exhausting they are — the reason for this is iron loss through blood. It's critical to replenish the body's blood and iron stores. Because nails and palms become paler with age, and women tend to become jaded, it's a good idea to get checked for iron deficiency. During each period, women lose about 220-250 mg of iron on average (2). Iron supplements can help people maintain a healthy iron balance in their bodies, which can be difficult to achieve through food alone.
Higher RBC to Carry Oxygen
Iron is necessary for the body's blood production. According to health statistics, roughly 70% of iron is found in hemoglobin, which is found in red blood cells (3). It will be difficult to transmit oxygen from the lungs to the tissues if you are iron deficient. Iron deficiency is more common in female athletes than in male competitors. As a result, it is advised to eat a healthy diet that includes foods such as beans, lentils, tofu, potatoes, cashews, dark green leafy vegetables, cereals, whole-grain bread, and so on. They should also get their iron levels checked on a regular basis.
Difficulty Absorbing Iron
In comparison to men, women have a harder time absorbing iron. It occurs as a result of various diseases and procedures, in addition to some natural reasons. These are most likely affecting the intestines and interfering with the absorption of iron by your body. Worse, even if you start eating iron-rich foods on a regular basis, celiac illness or intestinal surgery such as gastric bypass may reduce how much iron your body can absorb. So, if you've had any of these procedures in the past, it's a good idea to visit your doctor to avoid any negative consequences from a shortage of iron in the body.
The most frequent nutrient deficiency in women is iron insufficiency. Anemia can be caused by a lack of iron in which tiredness and shortness of breath are common symptoms. As mentioned above, iron is necessary during pregnancy. Anemia can lead to a lack of oxygen in the blood, resulting in weariness. As a result, it's critical to eat plenty of iron-rich meals. Increase the intake of green leafy vegetables, eggs, dry fruits, pulses and beans, nuts and seeds, fish, whole grains, and other similar foods.
For reasons stated above, it is critical to monitor iron levels in women's bodies. Although food supplements cannot replace a diversified diet and a healthy lifestyle, if you can't envision giving up your morning coffee but still want to maintain a healthy iron level, incorporating an iron supplement may help. Such supplements may benefit women who need to boost their iron intake since it targets the natural area of absorption and delivers just the right quantity of iron when they need it. Thus, iron supplements, which are a straightforward choice for refilling iron shortage in the body, make living a healthy and nutritious life simple.