Iron deficiency is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies in humans. When you do not get enough iron from your diet, you can become iron deficient and over time develop anemia. Iron is found in all red blood cells and has many important functions, including carrying oxygen from the lungs to tissues throughout the body.
Common Symptoms of Iron Deficiency
When you realize that iron is integral to moving oxygen throughout your body, you may realize why being iron deficient can cause many different symptoms. Some common symptoms of iron deficiency are fatigue, weakness, dizziness, hair loss, and even restless leg syndrome and irritability. Iron deficiency anemia is a worldwide health problem and is especially common in women and young children.
What Can Cause Iron Deficiency?
You can get iron deficiency when you lose more blood cells and iron than your body can replace, when your body does not do a good job of absorbing iron, when you do not eat enough iron rich foods, and when your body needs more iron than normal (when pregnant or during other increased growth periods). Additionally iron loss can be due to bleeding from ulcers, heavy menstruation and other disease.
You may also know that vegetarians can become iron deficient if they do not eat enough iron rich foods. But did you know that athletes can also become iron deficient if they are not careful?
Kimberly J. Mueller, M.S., R.D. explains more about anemia in athletes in her detailed article on Active.com
“Early onset of fatigue during exercise is a common complaint among athletes, especially female endurance athletes. Overtraining, stress, or many other external factors can cause fatigue, but many cases of fatigue are attributable to a lack of iron in the blood, a condition known as anemia.
Iron, a trace mineral, is a major component of the body's red blood cells or hemoglobin, and carries oxygen to various muscles and tissues for use during aerobic activity. Recent research indicates that endurance training creates an added demand for iron that many athletes are unable to meet. In fact, 75 percent of women aged 18 to 44 don't eat enough iron-rich foods, so depletion of iron stores is inevitable.
An iron deficiency will impair sports performance because oxygen isn't transported effectively to working muscles, which causes a build-up of lactic acid. Symptoms of iron-deficiency anemia include muscle burning, shortness of breath during exercise, nausea, frequent infections, respiratory illnesses and a pale, washed-out appearance. Over 50 percent of female endurance athletes have depleted iron stores, which suggests dietary intervention may be necessary to prevent anemia.”
How Much Iron Do You Need to Stay Healthy?
The recommended daily allowance for iron is 18mg. Some good food sources of iron are meat, beans, blackstrap molasses, lentils, dark leafy green vegetables, tofu, pistachios, nuts and seeds, as well as iron fortified cereals and breads.
If you are certain your diet is low in iron, or if your doctor suggests an iron supplement may be a good idea Rainbow Light’s Certified Organics® Plant Source Iron provides the recommended dose of iron that the blood needs to deliver oxygen and sustain healthy energy, muscle, brain, and metabolism. One easy to swallow vegetarian capsule contains iron derived from organic curry leaves and is easily digested and absorbed by the body.
Rainbow Light's Formulation Philosophy
VeganGuard® ensures each capsule is 100% free of animal ingredients. Allergen SafeGuard® ensures it is free of gluten, soy, yeast, milk, eggs, nuts, fish or shellfish. It is also free of artificial sweeteners, flavors, colors and preservatives. This makes it a wonderful source of iron, no matter what special diet you follow!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.