Iron

Quick Facts

Functions: oxygen carrier, forms a part of hemoglobin

Deficiency: the most common dietary deficiency worldwide. Can lead to weaker immune, anemia, muscle weakness, mood changes, impaired cognitive functions (concentration).

Deficiency risk group: people with celiac disease, after gastric surgery, vegans and vegetarians, women (especially pregnant), children and infants

Toxicity: can be caused by high dosage supplements or a genetic disorder (hemochromatosis)

Iron can be found in two forms:

Heme iron: obtained from meat, fish, and seafood where it forms a part of hemoglobin or myoglobin. When these foods are cooked for a long time or in high temperature, iron downgrades to non-heme form

Non-heme iron: obtained from legumes, fruits and vegetables 

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