Anemia is a condition where your body does not have enough healthy red blood cells moving through your blood. Without enough iron in your body, red blood cells cannot carry oxygen around efficiently, and the tissues in your body begin to suffer from this decreased oxygen supply. Iron deficiency anemia can occur for several reasons. Most commonly, iron deficiency occurs because of bleeding in the body, such as with excessive menstrual bleeding and bleeding in the digestive tract.
It can also occur in people with intestinal conditions such as Crohnвs disease or celiac disease, which might block iron absorption. People lacking enough iron-rich foods can also suffer from a deficiency.
Iron requirements aren t one-size-fits-all,. Women between the ages of 19 and 50 typically need 18 mg per day.
However, if you re pregnant, that amount bumps up to 27 mg. If you re breastfeeding, you should get just 9 mg. Plus, how heavy your periods are could also alter your needs. Older than 50 and not menstruating? You only need 8 mg per day. That s not a hard target to hitвa single serving of lentils, spinach, beef, nuts, chicken, or chickpeas, will all score you at least a couple milligrams.
And when it comes to iron, more isn t necessarily better. \”While most the attention is on iron deficiency, there is a concern as well for iron overload, which studies indicate can damage internal organs and may increase the risk of diabetes, heart attack, and cancer, particularly in older people,\” Batayneh says. Try to hit your RDA of iron, but don t worry about going above and beyond the recommendations.