Iron is an essential mineral that serves various roles in the body. Perhaps the most known are the contribution it has to the health and strength of muscles, as it serves to bring the oxygen needed for proper functioning. Besides that, iron also helps the body transform sugar into energy and acts as an antioxidant, boosting the immune system as a result.
Here are a few benefits that iron brings when it is consumed on a regular basis:
- It protects your cells
Iron helps fight the free radicals in the body – these are responsible for a wide range of health problems, ranging from some that are simple to treat to serious diseases such as cancer. It also serves to protect your skin, as regular consumption can help slow down aging signs.
- It fights anemia
This mineral is closely tied to a healthy population of red blood cells, so the fact that it can often help with anemia comes as no surprise. A diet rich in iron can help raise low amounts of these cells, protecting against the risks posed by improperly oxygenated blood.
- It raises energy levels
Iron facilitates the transformation of sugars into fuel for your body, helping you have increased energy levels for longer periods of time.
- It encourages the production of red blood cells
A healthy amount of red blood cells is essential, as these carry oxygen throughout your body, ensuring that your organs can function properly. Iron provides great help in their production.
- It stimulates the production of enzymes
Enzymes act as catalysts in various important chemical reactions that are crucial for the good functioning of the body. Among the functions that they help with are the production of new cells, hormones, amino acids, and neurotransmitters.
- It boosts your immune system
The antioxidant properties of iron can bring significant boosts to your immune system. As a result, the overall health of your body is improved, as it will have an easier time fighting all kinds of diseases.
There are numerous delicious foods that are rich an iron, so having these healthy benefits can hardly be said to demand a large effort. Meat lovers and vegetarians alike will have plenty of choices, as the variety leaves room for every preference to be satisfied. Some of the best sources of iron are:
- Meat (chicken, turkey, fish, beef, pork)
- Dried fruits
- Soybean flour
- Leafy green vegetables such as spinach and kale
- Fortified breakfast cereals
You should generally take the iron needed from your diet unless you have a deficiency that your doctor recommends supplements for. Using them without being aware of this mineral’s levels in your body can lead to an excessive intake and pose serious risks such as liver damage, very low blood pressure, and even death.
However, keeping it within normal parameters should not be difficult, as chances are you were already consuming many of these foods on a regular basis. A healthy diet built around them comes with plenty of impressive benefits, giving you the energy needed in all aspects of your life.