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The mineral essential for red blood cell formation†
Iron is an essential mineral for everyone, and especially for women during key stages of life. Learn more to find out whether iron supplementation is right for you.†
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As an important mineral in your body’s growth and development, iron helps transport oxygen from your lungs throughout your body. Great food sources for iron include lean meat, fish, poultry, molasses, tofu, beans, lentils, spinach, nuts, and fortified cereals.
If you have low levels of iron or iron deficiency anemia (as diagnosed by your healthcare professional), supplemental iron should be considered while working with your health care practitioner. Teen girls and women with heavy menstrual cycles face a higher risk of low iron levels, as do pregnant women. Also, if you don’t eat a balanced diet rich in foods containing iron or take iron-depleting medications, you might need an iron-containing supplement. Consulting with a health care practitioner about your blood iron levels is an important first step in understanding if you need to supplement with it.
Your body uses iron to produce hemoglobin (a key protein found in red blood cells) that enables red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body. Without iron, your body can’t produce enough red blood cells, causing your body tissues to receive less oxygen than they need. Iron is also an essential nutrient for women in their reproductive years.
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