Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Minerals : Iron

Minerals are organic elements present in soil. Plants absorb the minerals from their growth medium. We need very small amounts of each mineral in our diet, but they are essential to maintain all nerve and muscle function, teeth, bones and body cells. Minerals are insoluble in water and need to be bonded with a soluble compound before they can be properly utilised. That is why foods are the very best sources.

Functions of Iron:
  • Synthesis of haemoglobin
  • Oxygen transportation
  • Immune response
  • Physical and mental growth
  • Proper liver function
 Sources of Iron:
  • Oily fish
  • Lean meats
  • Eggs
  • Legumes
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Raisins, dates
  • Dates, figs
  • Apricots, prunes
  • Seeds
  • Molasses
  • Liver
Deficiency symptoms:
  • Food cravings
  • Pale skin
  • Fatigue
  • Circles under the eyes
  • Anaemia
  • Stunted growth
  • Brittle nails
  • Constipation

Supplements are unnecessary provided the diet includes plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Always check with your doctor before taking supplements of any kind. An excess of any mineral can have unpleasant side effects.

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