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The Ultimate Guide To Iron Supplements

11th Dec, 2020  |  Micheal Brennan  |  News

In this article, we are going to discuss everything you need to know about iron supplements.

In this guide you’ll learn when to consider taking iron supplements to compliment your regular iron intake from food.

We’ve covered everything in this guide, so you’ll no longer need to browse through hundreds of blog articles trying to find the right information. You’ll find everything you need to know in our guide.

From now on, every time you have a question about iron supplements, you can simply refer to this blog post and find the answer.

Let’s get down to brass tax. In our ultimate guide to iron supplements you’re going to learn the answers these questions:

  • What are iron supplements?
  • When & why you should take iron supplements?
  • How much iron do you need each day?
  • What are the different types of iron supplements?

Let’s get started by providing a basic definition.

Ultimate Guide To Iron

What Are Iron Supplements?

If you don’t know anything about iron supplements, you’ll find this section helpful. 

Iron is an essential mineral found in certain foods such as meat, fish, and dark greens. 

However, you need to eat these foods regularly and consistently to get the right amount of Iron in your body, which can be difficult in this fast-paced world. 

That’s why some people choose to take an iron supplement to compliment their iron intake from food.

But if you start taking an iron supplement, you might immediately experience their most common problem – constipation. Most iron supplements are hard to absorb and can affect your digestion, especially if you have a sensitive stomach.

Later, we’ll explore how your body can easily absorb iron, but first, let’s discuss the benefits of taking iron supplements. 

Benefits of Iron Supplements – Why Should You Take Them?

Now that you know what iron is and what it does, it’s time to discuss the benefits of taking iron supplements. Let’s start with a look at what iron’s purpose is in your body.

What Does Iron do for the Body?

Iron is essential to life. It contributes to normal cognitive function. It contributes to the normal formation of red blood cells and haemoglobin. It can help reduce the feeling of tiredness and fatigue. It also plays an essential role in preserving many bodily functions, such as the normal function of your immune system and it even plays a role in the process of cell division.

Iron-Rich Foods:

Spinach

Spinach is one of the most nutrient rich foods in the world. It’s a plant-based food which means it has non-heme iron. In general, non-heme iron which is more difficult to absorb.

Shellfish

Shellfish have high amounts of iron. Clams, oysters and mussels are the best sources. A 100-gram serving of clams can contain up to 3 mg of iron, but it’s highly variable. Shellfish contain heme iron, which is a type of iron that your body can easily  absorb.

Legumes

Foods like beans, lentils, chickpeas, peas and soybeans have tons of valuable nutrients. They contain folate, magnesium and potassium, which are all vital to your health. Legumes are also an excellent source of fibre. Legumes contain phytates which can block iron absorption. It is best to cook legumes thoroughly and pair them with heme iron sources to maximise absorption.

Organ Meats

Meats like liver, kidneys, and heart are all rich in iron. They have high amounts of protein, B vitamins, copper and even selenium. Liver is high in vitamin A as well. Organ meats are also one of the best sources of choline, a vital nutrient for your brain and liver health.

Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds are one of the most nutritious snacks you can find. They’re an excellent source of iron, as well as zinc, magnesium, vitamin K and manganese.

Red meat

Red meat is not only rich in iron, but is also rich in protein, B vitamins, zinc and selenium. It’s one of the most easily accessible sources of heme iron.

Quinoa

Quinoa is rich in iron, magnesium, copper, manganese and other important nutrients. Quinoa has high amounts of antioxidants — which can be very beneficial for your body.

Turkey

Turkey, especially dark turkey meat is an excellent source of iron. It also has tons of high-quality protein, B vitamins, zinc and selenium. Dark turkey meat has 28 grams of protein per serving, this can help prevent muscle loss and speed up your metabolism.

Dark chocolate

Not all chocolate is created equal. Dark chocolate is nutritious as well as delicious. Dark chocolate has high amounts of iron, copper and magnesium. Dark chocolate is also rich in fibre which promotes healthy bacteria in your gut.

Fish

Fish are full of healthy nutrients. Certain varieties such as tuna are high in iron and omega-3 fatty acids which have tons of health benefits. Omega-3 acids support your brain health and promote healthy growth and development. Aside from Tuna, Mackerel, Sardines and Haddock are also rich in iron.

Tofu

Originating in China, Tofu is incredibly popular among vegetarians and vegans. It’s an excellent source of iron as well as thiamine, selenium and calcium. Tofu also contains isoflavones that improve insulin sensitivity.

Broccoli

Broccoli is one of the most nutritious plant-based foods you can find. 1 cup of cooked broccoli provides 1 mg of iron (6% of your daily value). It’s also high in fiber, folate and even vitamin K.

Ideally, you’d want to get all of your iron from your diet, but sometimes that can be a challenge. Iron supplements can support a healthy diet and lifestyle.

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But how much iron should you take?

It all depends on your age and gender. Infants and toddlers need iron because their bodies are growing very fast. From the age of 4 to 8, boys and girls need to get the same amount of iron – 10 milligrams daily. From ages 9 to 13, they need to take 8mg every day.

When women reach adolescence, their iron needs as their body needs to replace blood cells lost during menstruation

So, from ages 19 to 50, a woman needs 18mg of iron daily. At the same time, men the same age need just 8 mg. 

Post menopause, when women no longer have a menstrual cycle, their ironneeds reduce to 8 mg of iron daily.

You might need to increase your iron intake if you are:

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Not able to get enough iron from your everyday diet
  • Have a gastrointestinal disorder that prevents your body from absorbing iron normally
  • Taking antacids that prevent your body from absorbing iron
  • Training for an endurance event such as a marathon or cycling challenge

*Iron Intake Reference: National Institutes Of Health – Office Of Dietary Supplements

How Much Iron is Too Much?

Now that you know how much iron you need, you might be wondering “how much iron is too much?” 

You might even think that the more iron you take, the better. While this might be true for some nutrients, it’s definitely not the case for iron. 

It is recommended that adults do not consume more than 45 mg of iron daily. The only exception is if they are being treated with iron under medical supervision. 

For kids, taking too much iron can be toxic. Doctors advise keeping your iron supplements in a cabinet where children can’t reach them.

For most adults, it’s hard to overdose on iron just from eating iron-rich foods and taking iron supplements. This is because adults have systems that regulate the iron intake. 

However, some people suffer from a genetic condition known as hemochromatosis, which means they have trouble regulating their iron absorption.

While most adults absorb only around 10% of the iron they consume, people that have hemochromatosis can absorb up to 30%. This can result in their bodies having dangerous levels of iron, which can reach vital organs and cause life threatening conditions. That’s why people with hemochromatosis shouldn’t take any iron supplements.

Ultimate Guide To Iron

Types of Iron Supplements

In general, there are two types of Iron supplements:

  • Pills/Tablets
  • Liquid

Before Active Iron was created, the market was dominated by iron supplements with poor absorption. The amount of iron absorbed is very important, because most people that take iron supplements want to increase their iron levels. Some people will try increasing the amount of iron they take, but this is not a good idea, because it can cause gut irritation.

Active Iron wanted to make better iron supplements with a higher absorption rate, so that people could feel the benefits of iron without experiencing gut irritation.

Our iron supplements are created using a patented technology that uses a unique whey protein complex to ensure iron is more readily absorbed. Active Iron helps to reduce gut irritation and is so gentle that you can even take it on an empty stomach.

Conclusion – Should You Take Iron Supplements?

To summarize — you should consider an iron supplement to compliment your dietary intake if:

  • You think you are unable to consume enough iron on a daily basis through food alone
  • You consume a diet that is low in iron e.g. vegetarian
  • You struggle to absorb iron from foods

However, there is one big problem with standard iron supplements – they are hard on your stomach. That’s where Active Iron comes in. It’s a revolutionary supplement that works in tune with your body and has clinically proven x 2 better absorption. Active Iron is kind on your stomach and strong on absorption when needed.  

Related topics:

Signs that iron pills are working.

How long does it take for iron supplements to work?

What’s the best time to take iron?

How to take iron supplements for best absorption? 



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