Just like iron is important for producing steel, it’s also an essential nutrient supporting human life. About 70% of the iron in our body is found in hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells. Iron is essential for the production of hemoglobin as it helps the blood carry oxygen throughout the body. Iron is also essential for the proper functioning of the immune system. So if your body’s level of iron is low, it can cause serious health problems.
These days, most women are found to have lower levels of iron in their body, and 1 in 10 women are at risk of iron deficiency. There are mainly two reasons responsible for the lack of iron in women – menstruation and pregnancy. Therefore, women must monitor their iron levels and take iron supplements Canada if necessary. In this article, we shall discuss why women need iron supplements and more, so continue reading to know.
Why Do Women Need More Iron Than Men?
Iron is an essential mineral that is present in the human body. It is usually sourced from the food you eat or the supplements you take. It is a nutrient that helps the body provide energy, combat tiredness and fatigue, and also boost the immune system and oxygenating tissues. Iron is also crucial for maintaining a healthy pregnancy, as both the baby and the mother need it for growth and development.
Women need more iron than men because men don’t lose it more often, but women do. So extra iron can be ideal since it will maintain optimal iron levels. Besides that, iron also helps drive better growth and health of hair, so having sufficient iron can prevent hair loss. Women should consider taking natural iron supplements, especially because they tend to lose a lot of iron during their periods.
Why Do Women Need Iron Supplements?
The first and most important reason why women need iron in their bodies is because of their menstruation. More than 70% of the iron can be found in blood, but when they go through menstruation, they tend to lose a lot of blood and significant amounts of iron as well. A woman loses approx. 1 mg of iron in every menstrual cycle. However, if the blood loss is excessive, they may lose up to 1.5 mg of iron per day when they are on periods.
Due to excessive blood loss, you tend to lose iron, which makes you have low hemoglobin levels. If you have low hemoglobin, you are likely to be anemic and show symptoms of iron deficiency such as weakness, fatigue, dizziness, pale skin, shortness of breath, chest pains, headaches, cold feet and hands, fast heart rate, etc. Anemia is one of the reasons behind women being colder than men.
While lack of iron or iron loss is common in women, it’s still better to determine your iron levels. In case the results indicate a lower iron level then there are some reasons to be concerned. This deficiency is often the result of iron-deficient diets, periods, or ineffective absorption of essential nutrients, which are supposed to add to the iron level.
You must boost the level of iron in your body by eating food rich in iron, like beef, ham, chicken, pork, fish, eggs, etc. If these foods don’t fulfill your iron requirements, you should start taking supplements like liquid iron supplements. Most women between the ages of 19-50 take iron supplements or multivitamins with more iron composition. Taking iron supplements won’t stop the iron from draining with the blood loss but they will produce iron in more quantity in the blood.
Should Pregnant Women Take Iron Supplements?
A report in America stated that pregnant women need 27 mg of iron every day. This is because iron deficiency during pregnancy can deliver a low birth weight baby or increase the risk of preterm delivery, which is neither healthy for the child nor the mother. Therefore, pregnant women should consult with their doctor if they should take a prenatal vitamin that contains iron or if they need additional iron supplements. An obstetrics or gynecologist will be able to recommend the best plan for pregnant mothers.
How Can Women Improve Iron Level In Their Body?
Whether you have determined a lack of iron or not, iron supplements are still needed to boost the iron level in the body. There are many multivitamins formulated with keeping in mind the best iron supplements for women. The amount of iron included in multivitamin tablets is important, especially for women who are iron deficient. It would be best to check the composition of a multivitamin as iron might not be present in a larger quantity. So make sure you check the labels or packaging of multivitamin supplements and even iron supplements. In addition, you should also look for a formula with vitamin C, as that will help the body absorb iron.
Here is a recommended dietary allowance for iron for female and pregnant women:
|0- 6 months||0.27 mg/day|
|7 – 12 months||11 mg/day|
|1 – 3 years||7 mg/day|
|4 – 8 years||10 mg/mg|
|9 – 13 years||8 mg/day|
|14 -18 years||15 mg/day|
|19 – 50 years||18 mg/day|
|50 years and older||8 mg/day|
Along with iron supplements and multivitamins, you should also add organic food products to your diet. Since food is the primary source of energy, you should start with having iron-rich food first. There are many food sources that are excellently rich in iron, such as red meats, poultry, offal, salmon and sardines, and eggs. You can also add other iron-based food sources to your diet, like lentils, tofu, spinach, chickpea, broccoli, beans, pumpkin seeds, seafood, dark chocolate, cashew, quinoa, etc. All these food will help increase the iron level in your body, thus making you feel energetic.
Iron is an essential nutrient that is present in both men and women. However, women need iron more because they are more likely to become iron deficient for various reasons. Therefore, you start having iron-rich food to increase iron levels in the body. There are also iron supplements and vegan iron supplements available which can help you meet the daily requirement of iron.