Iron, particularly is very essential for one’s overall well-being. A deficiency in this mineral can cause dizziness, weakness, intestinal disorders and fatigue. While women who are pregnant or menstruating require more iron, also long-distance runners and vegetarians must keep tabs on their iron levels.
The debate as to whether vegetarians or non-vegetarians are healthier may continue, but the first group needs to be more vigilant about getting iron. Good sources of iron for vegetarians include whole grain cereals, all the green leafy vegetables like spinach and fenugreek, pulses such as dals and rajma and even some dried fruits.
Non-vegetarians can get their iron fill from meat and fish. Red meats like mutton and pork are richer in haem iron than poultry and fish. Taking vitamin C pills or eating foods rich in this mineral (such as oranges) can help the body absorb the iron better.
Research suggests that women who are on a diet tend to avoid iron-rich foods. Instead, they can opt for meats like lean lamb or beef that is low on calories and high in iron.
Without iron, our bodies would be deprived of oxygen and it could lead to the collapse of vital systems. The body needs to produce new red blood cells to transport oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. The haemoglobin in these blood cells is rich in iron. Every few months, these cells are created by tapping into the iron stored in our body. Keep in mind not only how much iron you consume, but how much gets absorbed.