Think IRON for Super Power!
Wouldn't we all like a little (or a lot) of superhero power now and then to help us scale life's various mountains? If you're nodding "yes", think Iron, a mineral critical to the circulatory system and life-sustaining functions.
Iron is a component of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen through the blood and is essential to powering the energy levels required for all physiological processes in the body.
Foods containing the highest sources of iron are liver, organ meats, red meat, dark turkey meat, and shellfish. Legumes, certain seeds, and dark leafy greens, such as spinach and kale, do provide iron but you'd have to eat quite a bit, nearly every day, to obtain sufficient amounts.
Symptoms You May Need Iron Supplements
Most people acquire sufficient iron from their diet, but a supplement may be needed by those who have strenuous physical regimens or who experience frequent blood loss (e.g. from heavy periods or inflammatory bowel disease).
If you're experiencing extreme fatigue, weakness, cold hands and feet, headache, rapid heart rate, or unusual non-food cravings, you may be anemic and require an iron supplement.
Before Starting Your Iron Supplement
It's important to have your iron levels tested before starting a supplement because iron can build up in the body (a condition called hemochromatosis). This can lead to life-threatening health problems involving the liver, heart or pancreas. A simple nutrient analysis done by blood test indicates if you are deficient; other tests can determine if you have difficulty absorbing iron provided by a healthy diet.