Iron

Iron is an essential micronutrient playing a vital role in hemoglobin production.

Functions

  • Formation of hemoglobin.
  • Role in respiratory transport of oxygen and carbon dioxide.
  • Improves immunity.
  • Involved in cognitive performance.
  • Helps enzymes for energy production and protein metabolism.

Sources

  • Non vegetarian (heme) sources 

o    Liver

o    Beef

o    Chicken

o    Lamb

o    Pork

o    Egg yolk

  • Vegetarian (non-heme) sources

o    Whole grains (whole wheat, oats, brown rice, millets)

o    Rice flakes

o    Legumes (Dried peas, soya bean, kidney beans, green peas, lima beans)

o    Green leafy vegetables (especially fenugreek, spinach, kale etc.)

o    Dried fruits

o    Jaggery

o    Fortified or enriched grains

Deficiency

  • Anaemia
  • Fatigue
  • Paleness
  • Breathlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Anorexia
  • Reduced immunity
  • Tachycardia (increased heart beat)

Toxicity

  • Excessive intake on a long term basis may lead to toxicity. Symptoms may be

o    Fatigue

o    Anorexia

o    Headache

o    Nausea

o    Vomiting

o    Shortness of breath

Recommended dietary allowances