Iron’s Role in the Body

The main function of iron is to carry oxygen in the blood to every cell in the body.

Common Symptoms of Iron Deficiency1

  1. Pale skin
  2. Extreme exhaustion
  3. Hair loss
  4. RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome)
  5. Swollen tongue
  6. Pica – Developing a craving for “non-food substances, such as clay, dirt, or chalk.”2
  7. Frequent infections

What causes Iron Deficiency?

When your body lacks iron, it cannot produce enough of the oxygen-carrying red blood cells needed to maintain a healthy body. When the body lacks the proper amount of these cells, it can result in anemia, which can cause the body to feel tired and weary.

Iron-Rich Foods

Some iron-rich foods include, but are not limited to3:

  • Eggs, specifically egg yolks
  • Red meat
  • Poultry
  • Pork
  • Oysters
  • Mussels
  • Clams
  • Chickpeas
  • Fortified breakfast cereals
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Soybeans
  • Black beans
  • Lentils
  • Spinach
  • Sesame seeds

The Two Types of Iron

Heme Iron – This type of iron is derived from animal sources, whereas

Non-heme Iron – Is derived from plant sources.

Proper Iron Levels

The normal hemoglobin range is generally defined as 13.5 to 17.5 grams (g) of hemoglobin per deciliter (dL) of blood for men and 12.0 to 15.5 g/dL for women. The normal ranges for children vary depending on the child’s age and gender.4

Exercise & Anemia

While some men and women who exercise at a vigorous level may be more prone to developing anemia (due to level of fitness and intensity), exercise can generally IMPROVE the distribution of red blood cells in the body and help fight off the symptoms of anemia.

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This article is not meant to be construed as medical device. Consult with your doctor before engaging in a new fitness or nutritional regime. If you suspect you or a loved one is iron deficient, consult with your physician to discuss proper care and treatment.

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  1. Welch, Ashley. “7 Unusual Signs of Iron Deficiency.”, Everyday Health, 25 Oct. 2017,
  2. Ibid
  3. Images, Getty, et al. “10 Healthy Foods That Are Great Sources of Iron.”, 11 Sept. 2017,
  4. “Iron Deficiency Anemia.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 11 Nov. 2016,

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