Nutrition Tips : How Does Our Body Use Iron?


My name is Christine Marquette and I’m a Registered
Dietician with the Austin Regional Clinic and I’m going to talk a little bit about how
our body uses iron. Iron is a mineral that our body actually uses to make hemoglobin.
It’s also use to make myoglobin. And myoglobin is found in muscles, hemoglobin is found in
the blood. What hemoglobin actually does, it’s actually responsible for transporting
oxygen throughout our body. So that’s the biggest use of iron, is actually allowing
us to be able to have oxygen, to be able to breath and actually function, primary, primary
source of iron. Now the other sources of iron or the uses of iron actually help our bodies
fight infection. So iron is very important for our overall health in the sense that we
need it for oxygen just to live, but then we also need it to help our body fight infections,
so we need it to help us stay healthy. Now the sources of iron, you remember seeing Popeye
as a kid, always having spinach, spinach is a very good source of iron. So that’s something
that you definitely want to include. All types of meat, it doesn’t matter whether its poultry,
seafood or red meat or pork, they all have iron in them as well. Some other vegetable
include iron, pretty much all of your leafy greens are going to have some amount of iron
and a lot of fortified foods, for example breakfast cereals will have quite a bit or
iron in them. However, for the breakfast cereals and for some of the plant sources, you really
need to also include a good source of vitamin c. That combination of vitamin c and iron
actually helps your body absorb the iron more effectively. So, if you’re going to have your
spinach, make sure that you drink some orange juice with it or have some type of citrus
or bell pepper with that particular combination so that you are getting that vitamin c for
your body to absorb your iron. So just remember your body uses iron for both oxygen and to
fight infection.

Daniel Yohans

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