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You might’ve heard that you need to “pump iron” to stay fit and healthy. But did you know that you also need to literally ingest iron as well?
We’re not talking about picking up your barbell and giving it a good chew. Instead, your food’s filled with iron, and if you don’t get enough of it, you can take supplements to make up for it.
But how much iron do you need? What happens if you have iron deficiency, and what are the signs?
Read on to find out!
How Much Iron Do You Need?
What’s the importance of iron? It’s used to produce hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to various parts of your body. If you have too much or too little iron, it can cause issues.
How much iron you need will depend on your age and sex. Here are the typical amounts of iron you need daily:
- Children: up to 10 mg
- Teenagers: 11 mg (males) 15 mg (females)
- Men: 8 mg
- Premenopausal women: 18 mg
- Pregnant women: 27 mg
- Lactating women: 9 mg
- Postmenopausal women: 8 mg
Signs You Need More Iron
If you don’t get enough iron, your body will exhibit some symptoms of iron deficiency. Here are the signs to look for:
- Cold hands and feet
- Brittle nails
- Excess bruising
How to Get More Iron
Perhaps you’re experiencing the above symptoms. In this case, you should make an appointment with your doctor. They can then order blood tests to confirm whether or not you have iron deficiency anemia.
If you’re indeed anemic, then you’ll need to get more iron into your body. Here are the ways you can do so.
Eat Iron-Rich Foods
There are many foods with iron you can add to your diet. You might’ve noticed that many breakfast cereals are iron-fortified, so these are good to have in the morning!
Other iron-rich foods include liver (beef or chicken), oysters, mussels, beef, sardines, chicken, turkey, ham, and veal. If you’re a vegetarian/vegan, you can also get iron from spinach, lentils, and beans.
Take Iron Supplements
Sometimes, adding iron-rich foods isn’t enough to get your iron levels up. This is especially true for people who have gastrointestinal (GI) issues that prevent them from properly absorbing nutrition.
In this case, your doctor might suggest that you take supplements, such as iron tablets from Vitabiotics. Getting this extra boost of iron should help you feel better again soon!
Make Sure You’re Getting Enough Iron
Now that you know how much iron you should get and what symptoms of iron deficiency to look for, you should make sure you’re getting enough of it in your diet.
But before you take any actions, make sure you speak with your doctor first. They can order a blood test and confirm whether or not you’re iron deficient. From there, they can discuss with you what the next best steps are!
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