Iron is a precious mineral essential for growth, development, and good immunity. Women suffer from iron deficiency almost twice as often as men, and according to some indicators, as many as 40% of pregnant women “struggle” with iron deficiency.
Iron contributes to the normal formation of red blood cells and hemoglobin. It participates in oxygen transport, cell growth and division, and many other biochemical processes. It is deposited in the body in very small amounts, but they are extremely important.
In the blood, iron is an integral part of hemoglobin, the so-called blood pigment, so called because it gives blood its red color. Hemoglobin, which is found in red blood cells or erythrocytes, carries oxygen from the lungs to the blood and further through the blood to all tissues. In our organism, iron has another important role, which is to participate in specific processes in the cell that produce energy that our organism uses for work and activity. This is also the reason why some of the first symptoms in states of increased need for iron are fatigue and lack of energy.
Iron deficiency is latent in the initial phase and patients usually do not notice the signs. As the iron deficiency progresses, symptoms of deficiency can be noticed, which ultimately lead to anemia. The symptoms of the disease can significantly impair the quality of life of individuals. Thus, for example, in pregnant women, it affects not only the mother but also the fetus, and children may experience behavioral disorders and poorer performance in school.
The most common symptoms of iron deficiency are general weakness, malaise and dizziness, pallor, and heart palpitations, leafing of the nails, daytime fatigue, and sleepiness.
The best natural sources of iron in food are lean red meat, offal (especially veal and chicken liver), eggs and cereals, and green leafy vegetables such as spinach, chard, kale, broccoli, sprouts, and cabbage. However, sometimes the intake of iron from food is not sufficient, so it is necessary to resort to nutritional supplements, such as Iron complex, which, in addition to iron-rich plants, also contains vitamin C, because iron is better absorbed with it.