Iron is a trace mineral found in the hemoglobin molecule of red blood cells, the part of the blood that carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. It is
also found in myoglobin, the form of hemoglobin found in muscle tissue. Iron works with several enzymes required for energy production and protein metabolism.
Iron deficiency, the most common nutrient deficiency in the United States, leaves the body's tissues lacking in sufficient oxygen, which can result in iron-deficient anemia and fatigue. Most doctors recommend that pregnant women take a supplement containing iron since the increased demand for iron can rarely be met through diet alone during pregnancy. Many women's vitamin formulas include iron, which can be useful for menstruating women. After menopause, most women do not need extra iron.
Good Food Sources: Dietary sources of iron come in two forms: heme iron, found in animal sources such as chicken, red meat, eggs, liver, and seafood; and nonheme iron, found in whole grains, nuts, dried fruit, dark green vegetables, lentils, legumes, brewer's yeast, fofu, and fortified cereals. The body absorbs heme iron somewhat more easily than it does nonheme iron; however, if you eat nonheme iron along with heme iron foods or foods containing vitamin C, iron absorption greatly improves.
Signs of Deficiency: Signs of iron deficiency include fatigue, weakness, headaches, anemia, and intolerance of cold.
Uses of Iron : Iron is used to treat anemia.