Iron is a mineral that is vital to your health. All the cells in your body contain iron but most of the iron in your body is in your red blood cells.
Red blood cells transport oxygen from your lungs to the organs and tissues throughout your body. Iron plays a role in creating energy from nutrients. It also contributes to the transmission of nerve impulses – the signals that coordinate the actions of different parts of your body. If you have more iron than is needed, it’s stored in your body for future use.
Iron is important in making red blood cells and a lack of iron can lead to iron deficiency anaemia.
Symptoms of iron deficiency anaemia
The symptoms of iron deficiency anaemia include:
- Difficulty concentrating
How much iron do I need?
You can get the iron you need from your daily diet or in the form of supplements.
The amount of iron that you need is:
- 7 mg a day for men over 18
- 8 mg a day for women aged 19-50
- 7 mg a day for women over 50
What are some good sources of iron?
Good sources of iron include:
- Dried Fruit (such as dried apricots)
- Wholegrains (such as brown rice)
- Fortified breakfast cereals
- Mostly dark green leafy vegetables (such as kale)