Written by the Smart Solutions Education Team
As one of the most important and beneficial elements in the world, iron is an essential mineral that quite literally composes the world that we live in.
In addition to being one of the major building blocks of the world that we live and breathe in, iron is also one of the most important building blocks of a healthy body. As a vital piece of life, iron has many benefits — and we will walk through them, from the inside out.
Why do we need iron?
In the body, iron works in the red blood cells as a vital piece of hemoglobin, the protein that gives blood its red hue and helps to transport oxygen to your cells and tissues. Without healthy iron stores, your body can’t perform at its peak level.
In addition to helping carry oxygen, iron also helps to promote a healthy immune system and increase focus and clarity. In its dietary form, iron shows up as heme iron — the iron found in animal protein — or as non-heme iron, which comes from plant proteins. While humans should strive for an iron intake of 20 mg of iron a day, most only consume about 10 mg of iron — which is not enough to maintain healthy iron stores and ensure that your blood has the correct amount of iron.
What happens when you don’t have enough iron?
When you have an iron deficiency, your body isn’t getting the amount of iron that it needs to function, causing negative side effects and health issues. From a weakened immune system and fatigue to increased bruising and hair loss, low levels of iron can cause major issues.
Iron deficiency anemia is a condition that affects millions of people yearly, and a lack of iron increases the risk of a myriad of health problems. Because iron is part of what carries oxygen from your lungs to your tissues, an iron deficiency could be causing a lower concentration of oxygen, in turn causing lightheadedness, shortness of breath and a general feeling of fatigue.
Due to the lowered and weakened amount of hemoglobin in the body — which gives blood its red colour — you may very well have dark circles under your eyes and find that you bruise more easily. The risk of iron deficiencies lies in the hemoglobin — it’s an incredibly important part of your day-to-day bodily functions.
Benefits of iron from the inside, out
Iron benefits your insides (and outsides) heavily. When you have enough iron, increased hemoglobin in the blood causes rosy skin, less bruising and healthier nails and hair. The hemoglobin that travels throughout your body has a ton of health benefits. Iron gives more life to the things that make you you, making you appear and feel much more healthy and energetic than you did with an iron deficiency.
In addition to the obvious physical benefits, your daily dose of iron also goes a long way in your mental and emotional health, as well. Higher iron levels mean that higher levels of oxygen are being carried to the brain, and there have even been links connecting iron and serotonin, which helps improve your mood.
How can I get more iron?
Since iron is chock full of health benefits from the inside out, it’s important to make sure that you’re getting the correct amount of iron. First of all, speak to your doctor, who can give you a blood test to determine your iron levels. There’s no need to take iron supplements if your doctor doesn’t tell you to — while the iron is great, too much of it can lead to serious side effects.
Iron supplements in the form of oral iron supplementation may be necessary, but dietary changes can also help greatly with iron deficiencies. There are many iron-rich foods that still taste good, from leafy greens, like spinach and kale, to iron-fortified breakfast cereals and grains, like quinoa.
If you and your doctor decide that an iron supplement will help, we recommend that you look for a supplement like IRONsmart. In liquid form, IRONsmart absorbs quickly due to its large surface area. Iron absorption is much easier when the supplement is tailor-made to do its job.
The health benefits of iron are far and wide, and we know that higher levels of energy and motivation to get through the days ahead are valued by all. With IRONsmart, you’ll know that your iron absorption is actually happening — and without unpleasant side effects, such as an upset stomach and constipation. Try IRONsmart today, and start feeling better with a product backed by science that’s committed to helping you make it through the day with energy, focus and clarity.