Best Iron Supplement for Women
Do you know how important it is to have iron in your life? Iron bonds to a protein in red blood cells known as hemoglobin. As soon as we inhale, oxygen in our lungs becomes attracted to the hemoglobin. Once they bind together, they are known as oxyhemoglobin. Once together, this helps oxygen to be transported around the body by red blood cells.
What is iron?
Iron is an essential mineral that your body requires for several important functions. You can usually find iron in every cell inside your body. Its primary purpose is to help your body grow and repair, as well as transport oxygen to your body's cells and tissues. A women's iron is reviewed in terms of their hemoglobin level. The normal iron level for women is 12.0-15.5g of hemoglobin for each deciliter of blood. On average, they should have an intake of 18mg of iron every day.
How does iron work?
Iron bonds to a protein in red blood cells known as hemoglobin. As soon as we inhale, oxygen in our lungs becomes attracted to the hemoglobin. Once they bind together, they are known as oxyhemoglobin. Once together, this helps oxygen to be transported around the body by red blood cells.
Conditions that can be treated
There are a lot of benefits to iron supplements for women. If women have a lack of iron in their body, iron supplements can help treat the following:
- li>Heavy periods: Women who have heavy menstruation cycles can lose iron quite quickly and may become anemic. Iron supplements can help them restore their iron levels back to their body during the time of their period.
- Brittle nails: Low iron can cause weak, peeling, and fragile fingernails in a woman. Iron supplements can help restore nails back to their original form.
- Dizziness: Constant headaches and dizzy spells can be a factor of women not having enough iron in their body; iron supplements can allow them to feel stable and suffer from fewer head issues.
- Shortness of breath: Shortness of breath is common in both genders and can be a significant form of deficiency. This is because there is little oxygen inhaled and transported to the muscles and tissues. As a result, you become out of breath and exhausted more easily. Iron supplements restore your breathing levels back to normal due to an increase of oxyhemoglobin.
- Palpitations: Women who have low iron will find their heart has to work faster to pump oxygenated blood around their body. Because of this, their heart may strain and make an effort to pump more blood, creating palpitations and an inconsistent heartbeat.
- Weakness and fatigue: As a woman's body and tissues, and muscles contain less oxygen, they can become very weak and concentrate less. There are iron supplements that can help women restore their energy levels over time.
To know more about the best iron supplements for women, take a quick look at our top 10 product list.
Types of supplements
When looking to take iron supplements for women, you will find they come in three types, which are:
- Ferric citrate: If you're a woman who has high phosphate levels in your bloodstream or on kidney dialysis, then you might be given ferric citrate by your doctor. This type of iron supplement helps balance your phosphate levels which keeps your bones strong. Similarly, it helps lower the risk of heart disease and strokes. Ferric citrate is commonly administered in tablet form and can be crushed and dissolved into the water if you wish.
- Ferrous gluconate: Ferrous gluconate is an iron supplement that contains around 12% of iron. It's one of the common iron supplements for anemia. You can get this in liquid form, extended-release tablets, and injection. Depending on the reason you require iron and your age may influence the type of ferrous gluconate supplement you may receive.
- Ferrous sulfate: You can get ferrous sulfate from a lot of the foods you consume. It's also commonly prescribed to women by the doctor to treat iron deficiency and any anemia-related symptoms. Ferrous sulfate is also readily available to purchase over the counter from your local pharmacy. Women can take ferrous sulfate in the form of capsules, tablets, or drops. Doctors regularly prescribe this form of iron when you're pregnant or breastfeeding. Ferrous sulfate is one type of iron that is commonly found in the foods you consume. Regarding iron supplements, ferrous sulfate usually comes in the form of drops, tablets, or capsules for swallowing.
Best food sources
If you want to explore other options before taking iron supplements, you can also obtain a lot from food. The following foods you can eat are:
- Turkey: If you eat turkey regularly, in particular dark turkey meat, you'll be consuming a good amount of iron. A dark piece of turkey meat contains 1.4mg of iron for every 100grams you eat; that's around 8% of the daily value of iron. Whereas normal turkey meat only has 0.7mg. In addition to iron, turkey has a lot of protein, B vitamins, and minerals.
- Fish: Fish is a fantastic source of iron, especially if you eat tuna. On average, an 85gram serving of canned tuna can contain 1.4mg of iron, which is the equivalent to 8% of your daily value. In addition to this, fish is a good source of Omega 3 fatty acids, Vitamin B12, and other nutrients like niacin and selenium.
- Quinoa: If you're looking for a healthy grain that is rich in iron, use quinoa. Plus if you use 185 grams of it cooked, it's likely you will consume 2.8mg of iron, i.e., 16% of your daily value. In addition to this, quinoa also contains folate, manganese, magnesium, and copper.
- Spinach: Spinach is an excellent source of iron for vegans and vegetarians. Similarly, if you're also on a diet, spinach is healthy and low in calories. If you have 100grams of raw uncooked spinach, it's likely you will consume 2.7mg of iron. Alongside this, it's packed with antioxidants and high in vitamin C.
- Legumes: Iron is high in lentils, nuts, peas, and beans. To give you an idea of just how much iron there is, a 198-gram cup of cooked lentils contains 6.6mg of iron, i.e., 37% of your daily value! Legumes are also rich in potassium, magnesium, and folate.
- Red meat: Red meats like beef hold a fair bit of iron. If you eat a 100 gram serving of ground beef will contain around 2.7mg of iron, i.e., 15% of your daily value. Red meat also contains large levels of zinc, protein, and selenium.
- Broccoli: Broccoli is full of nutrients; it contains Vitamin C, K, and folate alongside iron. If you consume 156 grams of cooked broccoli, you will have around 1mg of iron. Broccoli is part of the cruciferous family of vegetables, where other members are kale, cabbage, and cauliflower. These foods are also high in iron.
When it comes to taking iron pills for women, there's a lot of benefits which are:
- Eases menorrhagia: Menorrhagia is a name given by the medical industry for when a woman has heavy menstrual bleeding. In this condition, a woman's body usually tries to work harder to replace the red blood cells lost in their body. As a result, more iron stores are used up to make hemoglobin, causing the likelihood of anemia to occur. Iron supplements can help restore iron levels and makes the cycle less painful for women.
- Pregnancy: Pregnant women use more iron stores to produce more hemoglobin to provide oxygen to their babies. Due to the higher oxygen demand, they can easily become iron deficient. Iron supplements can help a woman's body handle pregnancy better and make sure their baby gets sufficient nutrients.
- Cancer patients: Due to the exhaustive therapy cancer patients undergo, they often become iron deficient. Iron supplements provided by intravenous drip can limit anemia and stop them from getting worse.
Iron supplements in women can cause the following side effects:
- Brown/black dark feces;
- Gastrointestinal upset;
- Urine discoloration.
If you're a woman taking iron supplements and experiencing any of these side effects, consult the advice of a doctor immediately.
Precautions and warnings
As a woman, you should tend to stick to the following doses:
- 18–49-year-old women: 18mg a day
- Pregnant women: 30mg a day
- Breastfeeding women: 9mg a day
- Iron for women over 50: 8mg a day
Never take iron supplements with milk as it can prevent your body from fully absorbing the iron. It can also trigger your intestines to excrete small amounts of blood, losing more iron. Also, try to reduce or cut out your caffeine intake when consuming iron. Finally, if you're diabetic, speak to a doctor first before taking iron as it could increase your chances of heart disease.
How long should I take it?
The duration you take iron supplements can be different based on your age, type of supplement, and the reason why you're taking them. Always speak to a doctor first to know how long to take them.
Interaction with other medicines
Consult the advice of a medical expert if you're taking any of the following:
- Proton Pump inhibitors such as omeprazole, lansoprazole, pantoprazole, esomeprazole;
- Iron salts;
- Certain antibiotics;
- Antacids such as ranitidine, nizatidine, cimetidine, famotidine, pancrepalise, and more.
Iron is an essential mineral for women and can be very beneficial to take as a supplement. Iron can help with heavy periods, pregnancy, cancer treatment, brittle nails, headaches, dizziness and anemia. The amount of iron recommended for you to take can vary based on your age, if you're pregnant or breastfeeding. Similarly, it can also interact with certain medications like antibiotics, salts, proton pump inhibitors, and antacids, so always consult a doctor`s advice before taking.
What is the best iron supplement for women?
The best iron supplement for women is believed to be Pur-Absorb. This supplement contains iron and water from Snowdonia in the UK. It has a high absorption rate of 40%.
What type of iron supplement is best for women?
The best type of iron supplement for women is ferrous fumarate. This is available via tablet, capsule, liquid, and injection. Ferrous fumarate can help treat a variety of symptoms.
What form of iron supplement is best for women with anemia?
There are multiple forms of iron supplements, such as ferrous gluconate, sulfate, and fumarate, which help women with anemia. All of these supplements come in different methods to take and can restore a women's iron levels.
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