Iron is called the "energy giver." It attracts oxygen and builds blood. Along with maganese and copper it is necessary for healthy blood chemistry and is essential for recovery from illness. It is stored in the blood, bone marrow, liver, and spleen, with trace amounts in every organ. Iron is one of the most common deficiencies in men as well as women, although women require more iron than men because of their menstrual cycle. Without sufficient iron, the body cannot manufacture enough new hemoglobin, the red cell protein that transports oxygen in blood. Iron helps the body rid itself of carbon dioxide and keeps liver tissue soft.
Iron combines with other nutrients to produce vital blood proteins and is involved in food metabolism, digestion, elimination, circulation, and helps maintain sufficiently high blood pressure. Vitamin C improves iron absorption.
Some symptoms of an iron deficiency:
• Fatigue/lack of stamina
• Fragile bones
• Brittle nails
• Growth retardation
• Hair loss
• Ice eating (Pica)
• Unnaturally pale skin
Natural sources: greens (chlorophyll), high iron fruits, dark berries