Do you suffer from an inability to concentrate? Fatigue? Brittle nails? All of these are symptoms that you may have an iron deficiency. Iron is a key nutrient in helping us lead a healthy life, yet it is also one of the most common types of nutritional deficiencies worldwide. Find out why iron is so valuable and the signs that an iron deficiency may be getting in the way of your healthy life.
Why is Iron So Important?
Iron is responsible for the production of hemoglobin. Hyperbiotics.comexplains that hemoglobin is a complex protein that allows red blood cells to maintain their shape and carry oxygen and carbon dioxide around the body. If the body is not getting adequate amounts of oxygen and carbon dioxide, there is a risk of cell damage throughout the body.
Iron also plays a key role in many enzyme based processes in the body, including the conversion of amino acids into neurotransmitters to keep the brain working properly. It also helps break down proteins and keep hormone levels in check.
Signs You Might Need More Iron
If you suspect that you may be suffering from an iron deficiency, here are some things you might want to look out for:
Fatigue: If your red blood cells are limiting the amount of oxygen circulating in your body, you may feel fatigued. Healthline.comexplains, “Feeling very tired is one of the most common symptoms of iron deficiency, affecting more than half of those that are deficient.” If you yearn for more sleep and find that a few days of rest is still not fixing your problem, an iron deficiency may be the cause.
Inability to Think or Concentrate: Brain fog is also a common symptom of iron deficiency. This is due to the brain not getting the oxygen it needs and the lack of neurotransmitters being produced by your enzymes.
Brittle Hair and Nails: Your hair and nails also need oxygen to be strong and healthy. It’s natural to lose some amount of hair every day, but if you find that your hair loss is increasing, and your hair is not growing back, this may be a sign of iron deficiency. Similarly, nails may look flat and dented and become brittle and break.
Washed Out Looking Skin: The lack of oxygen in your cells can make them become smaller and paler. This will be evident in your skin, making you appear washed out and yellowish.
Your Immune System Isn’t Functioning Properly: Iron plays a key role in the functioning of your immune system. If you seem to be less resistant than usual to illnesses that are going around, this can be another sign that you may not be getting enough iron.
Hormone Imbalance: Iron helps to maintain balanced hormone levels. It plays a key role in the production of neurotransmitters like GABA, which regulates your reaction to stress, as well as your thyroid hormones. If these become out of whack, it could result in mood swings, weight gain, and acne.
How You Can Balance Your Iron Deficiency
If you think you may be suffering from an iron deficiency, it is best to consult a doctor. She should be able to recommend dietary changes that can help you achieve the right amount of iron in your diet. Iron rich foods like red meat, poultry, fish, beans, citrus fruits, and dark leafy greens may all be recommended.
If you find that the food you’re eating is not enough to get you the amount of iron you need, taking a supplement may be necessary. Two strong plant-based supplements to consider are Blood Builderby MegaFoodand Certified OrganicIron Goldby NutriGold. However, it’s always best to consult a doctor before taking additional supplements.
It’s a big relief to know that eating the right food can help balance your iron, leading you to enjoy a healthier life. However, eating better food is not always as simple as it seems, mainly because healthy food tends to be more expensive. If you want to create a healthier life and wallet, Makeena can help.
Download Makeena’s free appand browse the selection of organic produce and other healthier products that you might be interested in purchasing and add these items to your virtual shopping list. Once you purchase these items, scan the UPC and receipt through the app so you can begin saving money on healthier products. Once your account totals $20, you can cash out through Venmo or Paypal.
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Don’t let an iron deficiency get in the way of leading a healthy life. If you feel you may be experiencing symptoms related to low iron levels, consult your doctor to see what you can do to find the right balance. Eating healthy is not as hard as it seems, and will definitely improve your quality of life!