The moment people hear the word supplements, their mind immediately goes to various types of side effects they might encounter due to them. Granted, if you abuse the supplements, you might experience some discomfort but they most certainly do not represent a health hazard.

Let’s talk about our lives in general. Every day, we are bombarded with dozens of problems, some of which are under our control and some aren’t. It’s the latter that usually keeps us busy and makes us forgot about taking care of our health. The two everyday problems we face are fatigue and exhaustion. The constant running back and forth to keep up with the hectic schedule, forgetting to eat lunch and then picking at your dinner… all this usually results in an iron deficiency.

The Use of Iron

So, what exactly is iron and why does our body need it?

Iron is the key nutrient that the body requires in order to carry out daily activities. When you have an inadequate diet, your body preserves around 25% of iron for future use. However, this gets used up quite easily. A few main functions of iron include production of red blood cells, enzymes and hemoglobin, and metabolization of proteins.

Iron is divided into three areas of our body: 70% is found in myglobin and hemoglobin. The former protein helps release oxygen in the cells and the former protein helps transport oxygen, 5% is helps in enzymatic reactions and the remaining 25% is stored in the cells.

Benefits of Iron

1.     Improves Muscle Function

As mentioned earlier, iron helps transport oxygen to the muscles, which allows contraction. Without any oxygen, the muscles lose their elasticity and tone. This weakens the muscles and lack of hemoglobin causes anemia.

2.     Increases Brain Function

Iron is the key mineral that helps with brain function. Let’s have a look at the cycle: Iron boosts hemoglobin, which helps transport oxygen. The blood carries this oxygen and delivers to different cells and body parts. 20% of this blood oxygen is used up by the brain. When the body performs this cycle efficiently, our cognitive activity is stimulated. This creates neural pathways that prevent cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

3.     Brings a Healthy Glow to Your Skin

Dark circles and pale skin are signs of anemia. They are caused by iron deficiency, when the hemoglobin levels decrease. A reduction in RBCs slows down the flow of oxygen to the skin. This makes the skin appear sallow and unhealthy. There are various iron-rich foods that can restore this glow but if you fail to include the right amount in your diet, a supplement is the next best option.

4.     Eliminates Fatigue

Chronic fatigue is something that both women and men encounter everyday in their life. This can be easily eliminated with an iron supplement. Women often lose a lot of blood during pregnancy and menstruation. By using iron supplements, they can increase their RBCs and pregnant women can keep themselves and their baby healthy.

5.     Speeds Up the Wound Healing Process

With proper supply of oxygen to the RBCs, iron can help speed up wound healing. When hemoglobin transports oxygen, the cells also receive other nutrients, which is how a wound starts healing properly. Without it, an injury might result in infection.

The benefits of iron supplements are numerous. You might not feel the lack of energy due to iron deficiency now but you will feel the changes in your body after your iron reservoir finishes. So, if you can’t maintain a diet that is packed with iron, better start taking iron supplemmts.