What is Iron and why do we need it?
Iron is one of the minerals we need for our body, it is important in making red blood cells, these red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body to produce energy. That is why one of the main symptoms of an iron deficiency, known as Anemia, is extreme fatigue.
Other symptoms include:
- Weakness, dizziness, or lightheadedness
- Skin being paler than normal
- Chest pain or shortness of breath
- Fast heartbeat
- Cold hands or feet
Long term iron deficiencies can cause complications affecting your heart or lungs.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms please contact your GP for further information, they may give you an Iron test. This is a blood test, called CBC (Complete blood count), and it’s used to count the number of cells within a sample.
How much Iron do we need?
According to the FSAI, the daily recommended intake of iron is around 8mg for men and 10 -18mg for women (depending on age and pregnancy). To give you an idea of what this means in terms of foods:
- 150g of Chickpeas = 3.7mg
- 1 bowel of Fortified Breakfast Cereals = 6 – 9mg
- 28g of Pumpkin Seeds = 2.7mg
- 30g of Spinach (and other dark greens) = 3.72mg
- 100g of Soybeans = 6.5mg
- 100g of Lentils = 4.9mg
Supplements are mainly used to help reverse low iron levels or treat deficiencies, they are used as they can produce results quicker than diet interventions. Depending on your diet, you find it difficult to reach your daily goals, taking a supplement may be a good option for you. Please consult with your GP if you think you are low in any vitamins and minerals.
Some groups of individuals are prone to low iron levels, including; pregnant people, frequent blood donors, people who have a heavy exercise routine, etc.
Here at Conefrey’s, we offer a range of vitamins and supplements, come speak with one of our pharmacists to help you choose what’s best for you.