Do you often feel tired and worn out for no apparent reason? You could be deficient in iron. According to the CDC, people in the United States are more likely to be deficient in iron than any other vitamin or mineral.
Having too little iron in your diet can lead to anemia, a condition where your blood can’t effectively carry oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. Symptoms of anemia include tiredness, feeling cold, difficulty concentrating, frequent colds and infections, and a swollen tongue. You may have all or only some of these symptoms. Fatigue is the most common sign of iron deficiency, so if you feel tired all the time, you should ask yourself whether you are getting enough iron.
Iron is found in red meat, and also in smaller amounts in spinach, kidney beans, and soy beans. However, eating red meat can be harmful for your health in other ways, as it is often high in saturated fat and raises cholesterol. Eating too much red meat is associated with various serious illnesses, such as heart disease and cancer, and for this reason some health-conscious people choose to supplement their iron intake with a liquid iron supplement rather than eating too much red meat.
Even if your diet contains plenty of iron, you could still end up showing symptoms of iron deficiency. Not all of the iron that we eat is absorbed by the body. Iron absorbs best when it is eaten along with vitamin C, whereas tannin-rich drinks such as tea can block the absorption of iron. Even iron pills don’t always get absorbed. The best solution to iron absorption issues is a liquid iron supplement, which can be more easily absorbed by the body than iron in tablet form.
Not all chemical forms of iron are absorbed equally well. Most iron supplements contain ferrous sulfate, but this can cause side effects such as nausea for some people. Look for a liquid iron supplement that instead contains amino acid chelate, which is an easily absorbed form of iron that is much less likely to cause gastrointestinal distress.
Women are more likely to be deficient in iron than men, which is partly because they lose iron every month through menstruation. The recommended daily intake of iron is almost twice as high for a woman (18 mg) as it is for a man (8 mg). Iron is needed for growth, so babies and children are also at risk of iron deficiency. Pregnant women in particular have very high iron needs and should consider taking a liquid iron supplement to meet their needs.
If you feel tired all the time, you could be suffering from iron deficiency or anemia. A liquid iron supplement may help to correct the nutritional imbalance and help you to feel more energized and healthy.
Christian Nickerson is a freelance writer who focuses on general health, vitamins, dietary supplements, fitness & exercise and other related topics.