Role of Iron in Good Nutrition
Iron is essential for life. It is a component of hemoglobin, the red pigment in blood that
transports oxygen to the cells and removes carbon dioxide from the cells.
Iron is a vital component of red blood cells.
Iron plays a role in the production and release of energy
in the body.
Fortified cereals, liver, dried fruit, sardines, parsley, and watercress
Boiling vegetables can reduce the iron content by 20%.
Caffeine interferes with the iron absorption in the body.
Avoid drinking caffeine along with iron-rich foods or supplements.
Absorbability of iron from foods varies widely:
The "organic" iron found in red meats is considered
the most absorbable (10 - 30%).
Plants contain "inorganic" iron, of which only 2 -
10% is absorbed in the digestive tract.
Check with your local market for the recommended daily intake of iron.
Women are usually at a higher risk of iron deficiency because of blood loss through
monthly menstrual cycles.
Iron is one of the top six nutrients that are found
to be commonly deficient in people globally.
Iron requirements increase for pregnant women, who
produce more red blood cells to supply the growing fetus with oxygen and nourishment.