Iron the Mineral
Iron is an essential mineral to the human body because it is a key ingredient in hemoglobin, a blood component. Since it is an oxidizing agent, it is responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body. A deficiency of iron causes the body to produce fewer and smaller red blood cells, a condition known as anemia. Anemia reduces the blood’s ability to transport oxygen, resulting in fatigue. Left untreated, anemia can cause strain on the heart, a life-threatening condition . Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in the world. Women of child-bearing years, pregnant women, young children, adolescents, girls beginning menstruation, and people infected with parasites are particularly susceptible to iron deficiency. The best source of iron is, unfortunately, red meat, which is one of the primary sources of SF. But, there are alternative sources of dietary iron, such as dried beans, prunes, raisins, dried figs, molasses, green vegetables (especially those that are dark and leafy such as spinach), and cocoa. However, iron from these sources needs vitamin C, either as a supplement or from a natural source such as orange juice, so that it can be fully absorbed. Nutritionists do not recommend that anyone take an iron supplement without a doctor’s instructions. Since iron is an oxidizing agent, it can damage the body, cause unhealthy changes in cell structure, and put people at greater risk for cancer and coronary disease. Furthermore, the only way for the body to eliminate iron is through blood loss. Some people even have liver conditions that can result in iron overload, a life-threatening disease, if their iron levels get too high.
To maintain their health and extend their lives, people desperately need to limit their intake of saturated fats. These fats increase the risk of cancer and raise LDL cholesterol levels, which leads to heart disease. Both conditions are, of course, life-threatening. On, the other hand, everyone needs to ensure that they get enough iron since an iron deficiency leads to anemia. Red meat is the best source of iron, but because it is also a primary source of saturated fats, people would be wise to explore the many plant-based alternative iron sources. Since too much iron can lead to physical damage, just as the consumption of saturated fats can, no one should take iron supplements without a doctor’s consent.