8 Health Benefits of Iron for Your Blood and How to Boost its Levels

When it comes to nutrition, there are a few key nutrients that are good for our health and well-being.

One of these nutrients is Iron.

Many of us know that iron helps in the making of red blood cells and transporting oxygen, but it does a lot more than that. It also keeps us fully energized and strong.

In this blog post, we’ll talk about the amazing benefits of iron for your blood. From boosting energy levels, strengthening the immune system, and making hemoglobin.

Things to keep in mind

Here are some things to keep in mind about the benefits of iron:

  • Iron is essential for the formation of hemoglobin.
  • Iron is also important for cognitive function and brain development.
  • Iron is needed for the production of energy.
  • Iron helps boost the immune system.
  • Pregnant women need extra iron to support the growth of the fetus and placenta.
  • The recommended daily intake of iron for adults is 18 mg for women and 8 mg for men.

Benefits of Iron for Your Blood

Iron is part of our body, and it is found in every cell in our body that affects our health and well-being.

Iron deficiency is a major problem, but we still have to know about the benefits that comes from having iron in the body. Here are some of the benefits of iron for your blood:

1. Improved Energy Levels

Did you know that without iron, your cells would not be able to produce energy? That’s right. Iron helps your cells produce energy by transferring electrons in the mitochondria.

This process releases energy, which is used to create ATP, the body’s main source of energy.

When your body lacks iron, it can’t produce enough hemoglobin, which can lead to fatigue.

Studies show that iron deficiency is one of the most common causes of fatigue in the world.

A meta-analysis of 15 studies found that people with iron deficiency were more likely to report fatigue than people with normal iron levels [1].

Research has also proven that iron supplementation improves energy levels in people with iron deficiency.

2. Lowers Fatigue

Iron is involved in many functions in the body, such as producing energy, boosting the immune system, aiding in brain and cognitive function.

When your iron levels are low, these functions are impaired.

Iron also helps to improve energy levels, and reduces fatigue in people with chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.

Studies have shown that iron supplementation can significantly improve fatigue in people with iron deficiency, even if they do not have anemia.

For example, a study of women with non-anemic iron deficiency found that those who took iron supplement for 12 weeks reported a significant improvement in fatigue compared to those who took a placebo [2].

3. Hemoglobin Production

Iron is essential for the production of hemoglobin. Without iron, your body can’t produce hemoglobin, leading to anemia, and decreased oxygen-carrying capacity [3].

The red blood cells (RBCs) becomes smaller and paler, leading to health problems, like fatigue, shortness of breath, and pale skin.

A study published in the journal “Blood” found that iron deficiency is the most common cause of anemia worldwide, affecting an estimated 1.62 billion people.

The study also found that anemia is more common in women, children, and people living in low and middle-income countries.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that about 2 billion people worldwide have anemia, and most of these cases are due to iron deficiency [4].

4. Healthy Pregnancy

Iron is especially important for women during pregnancy, because the baby’s body needs iron to grow and develop.

Pregnant women also need iron to produce more blood, support the growing fetus and placenta.

Sufficient amounts of iron in the blood helps prevent the mother from becoming anemic.

A study in the journal “The Lancet” found that iron deficiency is a public health problem in pregnant women, affecting 50% of women in some developing countries.

WHO, also known as the world health organization recommends that pregnant women should take 27 mg of iron per day [5].

The guideline states that "daily oral iron and folic acid supplementation is recommended as part of the antenatal care to reduce the risk of low birth weight, maternal anemia and iron deficiency. The recommended dose of iron is 30-60 mg per day, with the higher dose preferred in settings where anemia in pregnant women is a severe public health problem. — WHO

Another study in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” found that pregnant women with iron deficiency were more likely to have babies with low birth weight.

The study also found that women who took iron supplements during pregnancy helped prevent low birth weight.

5. Prevents Anemia

Anemia is a condition in which the body doesn’t have enough healthy red blood cells.

Iron deficiency is the most common cause of anemia, it occurs due to lower RBC count and hemoglobin levels [5].

The WHO estimates that 24.8% of the world’s population, that’s about 1.62 billion people have anemia [6].

Of these, 50.2% are children under 5 years old, 41.8% are pregnant women, and 30.2% are non-pregnant women of reproductive age.

The most common cause of anemia is iron deficiency, which affects 80% of all cases of anemia.

Studies has shown that keeping iron levels in check through diet, such as eating iron-rich foods and taking iron supplement can prevent anemia and its complications.

6. Regulation of Body Temperature

When the body is cold, iron helps to generate heat, and when its hot, iron helps to dissipate heat.

Iron is involved in thermoregulation, helping to maintain a stable body temperature. Iron-rich hemoglobin helps in distributing heat throughout your whole body and contributes to effective temperature regulation [8].

When your body lacks iron, its hard for the body to regulate temperature effectively, leading to hypothermia.

A study in “The Journal of Nutrition” found that iron deficiency is linked with impaired thermoregulation in children.

Another study found that iron supplementation improved thermoregulation in people with iron deficiency anemia.

7. Improves Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a condition that causes uncontrollable urge to move the legs.

The symptoms of RLS are worse at night, which makes you unable to sleep.

Iron deficiency is a common cause of RLS, because iron is needed for the production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate movement.

A study published in the journal “Sleep” found that iron supplements can improve the symptoms of RLS in people with iron deficiency.

The study included 60 adults with restless legs syndrome (RLS) and iron deficiency. The participants were randomly assigned to receive either oral iron supplements or a placebo for 12 weeks [9].

The results of the study showed that the participants who received iron supplements had a significant improvement in their RLS symptoms compared to the participants who received the placebo.

The iron supplement group also had a significant improvement in their sleep quality.

8. Reduces Bruising

Iron is also involved in the formation of blood clots. When there is not enough iron, the blood may not clot properly, which can lead to bruising.

People with iron-deficiency anemia are more likely to bruise easily because their blood does not clot well.

A study published in the journal “Blood” found that people with iron-deficiency anemia were more likely to have bruises than people with normal iron levels.

The study also found that the severity of the anemia was linked to the severity of the bruising.

Another study, published in the journal “Nutrition Reviews”, found that iron supplementation can help to reduce bruising in people with iron-deficiency anemia.

The study found that people who took iron supplements for 12 weeks had fewer bruises than people who did not take iron supplements.

In general, the scientific evidence suggests that iron supplementation can also help to reduce bruising in people with iron-deficiency anemia.

How to Boost Your Iron Levels

There are a few things you can do to boost your iron levels:

  • Eat iron-rich foods. Good sources of iron include red meat, poultry, fish, beans, lentils, dark green leafy vegetables, and iron-fortified cereals.
  • Take an iron supplement. If you are not getting enough iron from your diet, you may need to take an iron supplement.
  • Avoid drinking coffee with meals. Tea and coffee contains tannins, which can interfere with the absorption of iron when consumed in excess.
  • Eat vitamin C-rich foods. Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron. Good sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, strawberries, broccoli, and tomatoes.

Final Thoughts: Benefits of Iron for Blood

In a nutshell, iron is a powerhouse for our health, doing more than just supporting our blood.

It boosts our energy, strengthens our immune system, and helps our brain function.

During pregnancy, iron is a real game-changer, and it’s key to preventing anemia, which affects millions globally.

Iron also helps our body handle temperature changes and can ease restless leg syndrome discomfort.

To make the most of these benefits, focus on your iron intake.

Enjoy iron-rich foods, consider iron supplements if necessary, and be careful not to consume too much coffee with your meals, as they can interfere with iron absorption.

By following these important steps, you’ll supercharge your energy, feel healthier, and keep your blood in excellent shape.

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