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Do I Need Iron Supplements?

How do you know if you need to take iron supplements? And if you’re low in iron, what’s the best way to supplement your diet?

Why is iron important?

Iron is an essential mineral, creating energy and helping transmit nerve impulses that coordinate movement. It also helps transport oxygen through the blood – which is especially important if you exercise regularly.

Am I low in iron?

So how do you know if you’re low in iron? Well, before you start popping pills, it’s important to get tested.

Of course, you may suspect you have an iron deficiency. You could feel fatigued, find it hard to concentrate, or experience dizziness. And if you don’t eat much red meat (or any meat at all) you are particularly prone to developing an iron deficiency such as anaemia.

Pregnant and breastfeeding women need more iron, as do women who experience heavy menstruation.

The simplest way to check your iron levels is to get a blood test. Just be sure that you probe your doctor or other health professional to find out your exact levels, so you know just how deficient (or not) you are. Also ask them for advice around supplementation – including how to get more iron into your diet naturally. They may also advise you to take a supplement; again, you should ask for a
brand and dosage recommendation.

How to get more iron

The simplest way to get more iron is to eat more meat. But not everyone wants to – or can – eat red meat.
A supplement is probably the next best step, although again be sure to get professional advice before buying supplements.

You can also add a big dose of iron with these iron-rich foods:
  • Spinach
  • Lentils
  • Chickpeas
  • Rice
  • Kidney beans
  • Tomatoes
  • Potatoes

So if you’re feeling lethargic and low on energy, try these simple iron boosters and see how you feel. And be sure to get your blood tested at regular intervals to monitor your mineral and vitamin levels for optimal health and wellness.

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