Iron is one of the trace minerals and critical to human life because of the role it plays in helping in the transport of oxygen from the lungs to the body tissues, and the return of carbon dioxide from the body tissues to the lungs. Iron is a key component of many enzymes. Iron plays an important role in the production of cellular energy and metabolism. Iron is critical for excellent thyroid function. Iron should be the most plentiful mineral in the blood which will assist with the vitality and the bodies energy levels. 10% of ingested iron is absorbed into the blood each day.
Iron is also necessary for collagen synthesis. Iron is essential in the oxidation of fatty acids. Iron is also found in the brain and is a cofactor in the neurotransmitter synthesis for serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline which helps with moods and behaviour.
Iron can be found in two forms, heme iron found in meats and non-heme iron found in plant foods.
Iron is absorbed across the intestinal wall and into the blood stream, which occurs primarily in the upper part of the small intestine, the absorption process can take up to four hours after digestion.
Vitamin C enhances the absorption of Iron.
Iron deficiency can be masked by vitamin B6 or B12 deficiency
Iron absorption depends on the type of food, e.g.: the iron in liver is more absorbable than the iron in eggs.
Food containing iron are:
The richest source of dietary iron is the sea vegetable Kelp, then also high levels found in clams, liver and oysters. Red meats such as beef, lamb, eggs, mussels, sardines, lentils, and other organ meats are also excellent sources.