How much iron do adults need on a daily basis?

The iron is one of the minerals most important for the health of people. This is mainly due to the functions that this nutrient fulfills the organism and that is why it is necessary to have optimal levels in blood .

Specifically, iron is a key nutrient for growth and proper development of the body. In addition, the body needs this mineral to produce hemoglobin; which is a red blood cell protein that is responsible for transporting oxygen from the lungs to the different parts of the body.

Of the same, iron is also essential to make myoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen to the muscles of the body. And it is that this mineral is also key for the manufacture of hormones and connective tissue.

Foods that provide this mineral

There is a variety of foods that provide iron naturally to the body. However, it is essential to know how to differentiate between the iron that comes from foods of animal origin and those that come from plant origin.

Anemia por falta de hierro
Anemia due to lack of iron

In this sense, lean meats, a variety of fish, shellfish or poultry are sources of animal origin; and a source of vegetable origin is legumes, spinach or dried fruits such as raisins.

Normally, the body has a greater capacity to absorb iron of animal origin. Thus, it finds greater difficulties for the absorption of this mineral that comes from foods of vegetable origin.

Therefore, an ideal way to stimulate an improved absorption of iron that comes from foods of origin It is convenient to accompany your intake of products rich in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, red peppers, strawberries, kiwi or tomatoes.

Ideal amount of iron

Taking into account the important functions of this mineral in the body, people need to consume a sufficient amount of iron on a daily basis, according to determining factors such as age and sex. This is how they are established by the United States National Institute of Health:

Babies up to 6 months of age

Babies 7 to 12 months of age

18 mg

Stage of life Recommended amount
0. 27 mg
10 mg
Children 1 to 3 years of age 7 mg
Children 4-8 years of age 10 mg

Children from 9 to 13 year old 8 mg
Adolescents (males) of 14 to 18 year old 11 mg
Adolescents (girls) of 14 to 18 year old 15 mg
Adult males of 19 to 50 year old 8 mg
Adult women of 20 to 50 year old
Adults of 51 or older

8 mg

Pregnant adolescents

27 mg Pregnant women

27 mg Adolescents breastfeeding 10 mg Breastfeeding women 9 mg

According to the National Institute of Health of the United States, vegetarians or vegans who do not consume foods of animal origin require practically twice the amount of iron exposed in the previous table.

The lack of iron in the body can cause iron deficiency anemia, which leads to symptoms such as lack of energy, tiredness, memory problems, poor concentration, intestinal disorders, reduced ability to fight infections or to control body temperature.

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