Iron is an essential mineral and it is an important component of proteins involved in the transport of oxygen and metabolic rate.
Essential for women
Necessary for the transport of oxygen through the body
Liver fatty acid metabolism
Improves immune system
Better brain function
Almost two-thirds of it are in hemoglobin – the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to the tissues. Lesser amounts of this mineral were found in myoglobin – a protein that helps the muscles to supply oxygen and also in enzymes that promote biochemical reactions in the cells. About 15% of body iron is stored for future needs and is mobilized in case of an inadequate diet. The residue is in the tissues of the body, and it helps the body to function. Older men and women in post menopause lose very little iron except through bleeding.
Women with profusely monthly bleeding can lose large amounts of iron. The body usually maintains a normal level by controlling the amount absorbed from the diet. Iron is necessary for the transport of oxygen through the body by the RBCs. It also participates in the conversion of blood sugar into energy and provides a building block for the production of enzymes involved in building new cells, amino acids, hormones, and neurotransmitters.
Other important activities including iron are detoxification, liver fatty acid metabolism, the synthesis of carnitine and neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine. Iron is an essential element for the production of collagen and elastin that provide structural integrity and elasticity of the organs and tissues. The liver is considered the food richest in iron. Other good sources are organ meat, fish and poultry. Dry seeds and vegetables are the best plant sources, followed by dried fruits, nuts, whole-grain, and cereals. Adding iron to grains, flours and bread contribute significantly to the daily consumption of the mineral.