All vitamins, minerals, and critical nutrients play an important part in the metabolism and overall health of our bodies! Iron is one such critical mineral that is required for human survival! Iron is beneficial to us in a variety of ways, and its shortage is often misdiagnosed as simple tiredness and fatigue! Iron deficiency can cause anemia, especially in women, as well as interfere with all other biological systems! Iron is required for protein metabolization, enzyme production, hemoglobin, and red blood cell formation! Inadequate iron levels may result in reduced RBC levels, resulting in a slow rate of oxygenation of your body’s tissues and organs! Your healthy skin, hair, and overall increased immunity reflect a good dietary intake of iron! Continue reading to learn more about the primary iron advantages and how to make sure you get enough of it.
Beauty Benefits of Iron For Skin
The primary advantages of iron on the skin are in the area of cell division and repair! Iron is required for the production of hemoglobin, a protein that binds to and carries oxygen throughout your body! Iron deficiency can result in a variety of symptoms, including fatigue, pale skin, and hair loss! However, when an adequate iron intake is present, the benefits on the skin are evident: increased cell division, improved skin color, and increased hair growth!
1. Provides a healthy glow to your skin
The most typical indicators of anemia induced by iron deficiency are pale complexion and black rings. Hemoglobin levels drop as a result of a lack of iron, which leads to a reduction in RBCs. Reduced oxygen flow might cause your skin to lose its color and seem sallow. Your skin can shine rosy with a healthy intake of iron-rich foods in your regular diet.
2. Hastens the healing of wounds
Iron hastens the healing of wounds.
Iron also helps to speed up the healing process of wounds. It aids in the development of red blood cells (RBCs), the most important component of hemoglobin, which distributes oxygen throughout the body. Wound healing is impossible without a sufficient supply of oxygen (which also delivers other nutrients). The next time you get a painful wound, you’ll know what to do!
Beauty Benefits of Iron For Hair
The most obvious benefit of ‘iron’ for your hair health is that it helps reduce hair fall and improve hair shine! Iron deficiency is the most common cause of hair loss worldwide. The best way to get an adequate amount of iron is through food, and the following foods are rich in iron:
3. Helps to Prevent Hair Loss
According to a study published in the European Journal of Dermatology, iron deficiency might cause significant hair loss in women (). Low iron levels, according to the study, increase the rate of hair loss, especially in non-menopausal women. By improving the passage of oxygen and nutrients to the hair roots and scalp, iron also improves hair texture and eliminates dullness.
Health Benefits of Iron
Some major health benefits of iron are as follows:
4. It Enhances Appetite
Iron supplements may assist enhance your child’s appetite if you’re a worried parent with a picky eater. Iron supplementation increased hunger and growth in Kenyan primary school students, according to a study published in The Journal of Nutrition.
5. Assists in Brain Development
To support healthy brain development, new mothers must ensure that their children consume an iron-rich diet. According to a study published in the Seminars in Pediatric Neurology, newborns with iron deficiency anemia had a worse cognitive, motor, social-emotional, and neurophysiological development than those who do not. As a result, the study underlines the need of avoiding iron deficiency to improve brain function.
6. It boosts your immune system.
Iron’s capacity to boost immunity is another wonderful health benefit. Iron is essential for a variety of immunological processes, including T cell differentiation and proliferation, as well as the formation of reactive oxygen species that combat infections, according to the Linus Pauling Institute.
7. Helps to alleviate premenstrual symptoms
According to studies, a high iron consumption can help with premenstrual symptoms like dizziness, mood swings, hypertension, and more. According to a study from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, women who eat an iron-rich diet had a 30 to 40% lower risk of developing PMS than those who eat less iron.
8. It Energizes You
Iron functions as an oxygen transporter in the body, transporting oxygen to the muscles and the brain, boosting both physical and mental performance. Low iron levels in the body might make you irritated, tired, and inattentive. Iron supplementation improves exercise performance in women, according to a study done by the University of Melbourne.
9. Assistive devices Function of Muscles
Improved muscular health necessitates the use of iron. It helps make myoglobin (a muscle protein) which transports oxygen from hemoglobin and stores it in muscle cells. As a result, it aids muscular contraction.
10. Provides for a Healthy Pregnancy
Iron is essential for a healthy pregnancy.
Doctors advise pregnant women to increase their iron intake through food or supplements. According to a study published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, prenatal iron supplementation reduces the risk of low birth weight and avoids maternal anemia throughout pregnancy. Iron should be taken by pregnant women as per the doctor’s recommendation. Iron supplements are better absorbed when combined with vitamin C-rich foods like orange, grapefruit, and tomato juice.
11. Helps to relieve restless leg syndrome
Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a neuronal movement disease that causes a constant impulse to move one’s legs. At repose, these sensations become even stronger, resulting in sleep disturbances. According to research published in Age and Aging, iron deficiency (with or without anemia) can cause RLS in the elderly. As a result, taking iron supplements can help to reduce the symptoms.
Here are some of the best foods to get your daily dosage of iron from:
Animal Sources (Heme iron): These are the greatest foods to eat to boost and maintain your body’s iron levels.
- Beef Liver
- Chicken Liver
Plant Sources (Non-Heme): These iron sources are absorbed in a lower rate by the body, necessitating a higher level of Vitamin C absorption.
- Beans and Tofu
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Leafy Vegetables
- Whole Grains
- Dry Fruits
- Milk Products
What is the recommended level for iron
RDA for adult men is 18 mg/day, and for adult women is 27 mg/day. Average Intake for adolescent boys: 55-70 mg/day, for adolescent girls: 30-55 mg/day. The recommended iron intake for pregnant women is 27-30 mg/day; for lactating women, it is 18-22 mg/day.
What Is Iron Deficiency
Iron deficiency is characterized by a reduction in the amount of iron in the body. Iron deficiency anemia is a common problem in the world. It can occur when the amount of iron in the body is too low. In addition to causing fatigue and weakness, iron deficiency anemia increases a person’s risk of developing other health problems.
The following are some of the most serious consequences of iron deficiency:
The most serious complication of a mineral shortage is anemia. Fatigue, faintness, bodily weakness, headaches, and increased sensitivity to cold temperatures are among the signs of this condition. Low blood pressure, kidney failure, leukemia, muscle spasms, colon cancer, and other health problems can all be caused by it.
2. Lead Toxicity
Iron deficiency can increase the risk of lead poisoning in children. According to a study published in the journal Science of the Total Environment, high iron intake and appropriate iron storage can reduce the risk of lead poisoning in children.
Other issues linked to iron shortage include decreased immunity, pregnancy troubles, and intellectual impairment in children, among others.
Risk of Excessive Iron Consumption
Though iron is essential for our bodies, too much of it can be harmful. The following are some of the side effects of an iron overdose:
1. A Higher Chance Of Cardiovascular Diseases
According to a study conducted by Indiana University, heme iron, which is abundant in red meat, can increase the risk of coronary heart disease by 57%. According to the study, non-heme iron does not affect the risk of heart disease. As a result, it’s critical to keep your iron intake from heme sources to a minimum.
2. High Cancer Incidence
Cancers such as colorectal, colon, and liver cancer can all be exacerbated by a high iron intake. A study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, and Prevention discovered a link between iron and colorectal cancer risk.
3. The Presence Of Gastrointestinal Issues
Iron supplementation is recommended by doctors all around the world for patients who are iron deficient. Nausea, diarrhea, constipation, and black stools are all possible adverse effects of these supplements Consult your doctor for advice on how to manage these symptoms.
4. Risk of Neurodegenerative Diseases
Though iron is necessary for enhanced brain function, too much of it can lead to increased oxidative damage in the brain. As a result, it may increase the risk of neurodegenerative illnesses in the elderly, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
5. Increased Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Heme iron is also linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in women, according to a study published by the American Diabetes Association.
6. Increased Risk of Premature Aging
Iron, according to several authorities, aids in the prevention of premature skin aging. This assertion, on the other hand, could not be further from the truth. According to a study published in Ageing Research Reviews, an excessive amount of iron might enhance the creation of harmful hydroxyl radicals, causing oxidative damage and premature skin aging.
Iron is involved in several vital body processes, including protein metabolization and the creation of red blood cells and enzymes. So, to reap the benefits of iron, you must consume enough of it throughout your diet. Iron-rich meals can help you get a rosy glow, speed wound healing, prevent excessive hair loss, increase appetite, promote muscle and brain health, and support a healthy pregnancy. To avoid iron deficiency anemia and lead toxicity, include foods like tofu, beans, turnips, legumes, lentils, eggs, and dairy products in your diet. It’s crucial to achieve a balance because too much iron might cause health problems.
This article provides general information about the topic and is not to be taken as medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice, treatment, and/or diagnosis. Always consult with your doctor before trying out any of the remedies/recipes suggested in the blog post.
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Bharat Sharma is a Delhi-based writer who loves reading and writing research-based topics revolving around health, fitness, and nutrition. His love for writing started during his teenage and continues till date. After his graduation, he worked for GE Money, and IBM, but later found his true love i.e. blogging.