Why is iron important anyway?
Iron is the nutrient that feeds your body & your brain.
Iron is the nutrient that helps blood move oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body and it helps muscles store & use oxygen.
Low iron levels can impact :
- Energy levels
- Performance at school/work
- Earning potential
Symptoms of low iron include:
- Brittle Nails
- Hair Loss
- Feeling Weak
- Constantly Tired
- Shortness of Breath
- Heart Palpitations
- Pale Complexion
- Frequent Nausea
Extreme cases of iron deficiency can be fatal, and are usually treated with blood transfusions.
If left untreated, iron deficiency can make people more susceptible to illness and infection.
Who Does Iron Deficiency Impact?
Though everyone is susceptible to developing iron deficiency or anemia at different times in their lives, particular groups of people are more at risk than others.
- Women; especially during pregnancy.
- Children; especially in their early years when they are still developing cognitive functions.
- People with low levels of iron in their diet (e.g. vegetarians & vegans).
- High-performance athletes.
Recommend Iron Intake
Per USDA and Health Canada, your recommended iron levels depend on your age & gender.
Your iron requirements also depend on the type of lifestyle you lead.
Therefore, iron requirement for vegans/ vegetarians is 1.8 times higher. Daily recommended iron intake is also higher for high performing athletes.