All living things are merely composed of numerous cells. These cells are very important as they provide structure for the body, extract nutrients from food, convert nutrients to energy, and carry out other special functions. Hence, in order to maintain healthy cells, there is a need for us to consume essential minerals such as Iron. You might be wondering why? Well, Iron is an essential mineral that greatly contributes to the transportation of oxygen in our body through red blood cells. As a result, daily body function will become more efficient and more productive. In fact, the other health benefits of iron are given below. So if you want to gain more insights about the health benefits of iron as well as its other functions, follow along. Read this article to know more about the health benefits of Iron!
What is Iron?
Iron plays a vital role in the production and development of red blood cells in the body. In addition, the hemoglobin substance found in the red blood cells is where the majority of the body’s iron stored. Therefore, a low level of iron means slow hemoglobin production, resulting in reduced oxygen transport in the body triggering fatigue and tiredness. As a matter of fact, this is the reason why people who are diagnosed with anemia frequently feel tired. Also, people deprived of iron can be vulnerable to bacterial infections and viruses as it also affects the immune system.
On the other hand, the body in several ways such as urination, sweating, defecation, and old skin exfoliation loses iron. A big factor that also affects iron loss is bleeding which indicates that women are more susceptible to iron deficiency than men are. As a matter of fact, our bodies can’t produce iron itself, so we need to consume a sufficient amount of iron from different food sources such as fruits, meats, vegetables, and fishes. People can also get an adequate amount of iron by taking food supplements.
How Much Iron is needed by our Body?
As mentioned a while ago, iron is essential for our daily body functions. Thus, we must know the proper consumable daily iron amounts suitable for us. Listed below are the RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) and UL (Tolerable Upper Intake Levels) of iron suited for our body depending on our age group:
|AGE (GROUP)||RDA (milligrams/day)||UL (milligrams/day)|
|1–3 years old||7||40|
|4–8 years old||10||40|
|9–13 years old||8||40|
|14–18 years old in men||11||45|
|14–18 years old in women||15||45|
|14–18 years old lactating women||10||45|
|14-18 years old pregnant women||27||45|
|19 years and older men||8||45|
|19-50 years old pregnant women||27||45|
|19-50 years old lactating women
51 years and older women
Health Benefits of Iron
Consuming Iron-rich foods in a balanced amount will surely give considerable health benefits to our body. On the other hand, given below are the health benefits of iron:
Boosts Wound Healing Process. Waiting for your wound to heal is sometimes frustrating. However, Iron can be able to speed up the wound healing process by forming an adequate amount of red blood cells (RBC’s). As a result, the supplied oxygen and other nutrients in the body through RBC’s make it faster for the wound to heal.
Improves Brain Function. Our brain requires an adequate amount of iron for better cognitive functions/ brain function. As a matter of fact, our brain uses 20% of the oxygen found in our blood. Iron not just enhances the blood flow in our brain but also helps in the creation of new neutral passageways preventing serious cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Improves Muscle Health. Iron is an important mineral that aids muscle functions. It is responsible for the production of myoglobin, a muscle protein that transports oxygen from hemoglobin and stores it in the muscle cells. Moreover, without it, our muscles will lose its tone and elasticity as well as its strength.
Other Health Benefits of Iron
Promotes Healthy and Glowing Skin. Having pale skin and dark circles are the usual signs of anemia due to iron deficiency. Furthermore, a low level of iron in the blood reduces the production of red blood cells, which inhibits oxygen transfer throughout the body. Moreover, the decreased oxygen flow prevents the skin to have a pinkish glow color. Thus, the consumption of considerable amounts of iron can induce healthy and glowing skin.
Treats Anemia. The leading cause of anemia is the low level of hemoglobin in the red blood cells due to iron deficiency. Furthermore, anemia clearly indicates that the body ceases from creating RBC’s progressively which may trigger more serious problems including organ failure. As a matter of fact, this kind of illness is very common, especially in children. Thus, incorporating fresh fruits and vegetables in their regular diet can induce the early recovery from anemia.
Treats Sleep Apnea. Iron is a helping factor for the oxygen transfer in the body. It can improve the sleeping habits of people who are suffering from sleep disorders such as insomnia or sleep apnea. Furthermore, proper red blood cell count can reduce the fluctuation of blood pressure resulting in better sleep.