#VitaminStories - Iron

By Bethan Hamilton, MMSc, ANutr on September 05, 2018, categorized in Plant-based Nutrition

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Little pockets of energy that travel around our bodies in our blood… that’s not actually too far from the truth!

What is it?

Iron is a metal essential for our bodies to create red blood cells and haemoglobin (a protein in red blood cells). 66% of the iron in our bodies is found in haemoglobin.

Why do we need it?

Well, haemoglobin, that small protein it creates, is key to transporting oxygen all around our bodies, so is very important for our physical and cognitive function.

Our bodies are very good at adapting how much iron we absorb from food, based on our iron stores and blood levels. However, if that depletes too much, this can cause iron deficient anaemia, so you may feel tired and lack energy. It’s worth noting that we actually lose iron through our skin and sweat, so if you are working out a lot, keep an eye on those iron levels!

How much do we need?

The recommended daily amount of Iron is 14 mg. However, this may not even be enough for some women who suffer high menstrual losses. In fact, national dietary data suggests women in all age brackets don’t get adequate amounts of iron in their everyday lives.

Where do we get iron from?

Iron comes in two forms, haem iron (animal sources) or non-haem iron (plant-sources). Although iron can be easily absorbed from animal sources, a lot of our iron intake comes from different breakfast cereals, wholegrains like brown rice, and beans. You can also get iron from dark green veg like spinach and broccoli, or even dried fruit and nuts.

Absorption of iron from plant-sources can be affected by various food factors, like fibre and elements of tea, coffee and beans which can bind to iron and prevent absorption in our intestine. But fear not, Vitamin C can come to the rescue when eaten at the same time as foods high in iron to support iron absorption.

Good job Vega Essentials not only contains 28% of your daily iron intake, but also 34% of your recommended vitamin C intake – a winning combo!

 

Enjoy as part of a healthy lifestyle and balanced diet.

 Bethan Hamilton, MMSc, ANutr

Bethan Hamilton, MMSc, ANutr