Iron is an important mineral required in a small quantity by our bodies. If our body doesnâ€™t get the required amount of iron then it may lead to certain diseases which can be cured with the doctorâ€™s medication and iron supplements.
A normal adult man has 4.5 gm of iron but it varies in the people according to their age, nutrition, sex, health conditions etc.
The most important and primary function of iron is to carry the oxygen from one part of the body to the other. The proteins in our food that contains iron content takes the oxygen from the lungs to the different parts of body without which no tissue can survive. it is very important component for hemoglobin of red blood cells and also myglobin in our muscles. Nearly 60-70% of iron in our body is hemoglobin and 3% is myoglobin. Iron is also used for the certain oxidation-reduction reactions in our body which further produces energy. Other functions of iron is cognitive development, temperature regulation and work performance. Approximately 90% of iron is stored in the body is reused everyday. It is stored in spleen, kidney, liver and bone marrow in the form of ferritin, hemosiderin and siderphilin. The remaining is excreted.
Men store more iron as compared to the women and the loss of blood means the loss of iron that is why women of childbearing age generally found deficient in the iron content which results in anemia (deficiency of iron) which makes you feel sluggish or tired all the time and the tendency to fight infections will decrease. In order to have proper balance of iron in body we should have healthy diet to cover the other 10% required by the body. Women should consume more iron as compared to men. The U.S Recommended Daily Allowance for women is 15mg whereas for men is 10mg.
Presence of vitamin C in the body helps to absorb more iron. That is why having fruits with vitamin C along with the iron diet will increase the absorption of iron. Hookworm and other intestinal parasites, excess of calcium decreases the ability of body to absorb proper iron.
Rich iron foods are beans, legumes, cereals, fortified seeds milk as well as meat.