If you feel like your most energetic self 100 percent of the time, you can probably skip this article. But if you ever feel like you could use a boost, you’d be interested to know that iron is one of the main minerals that governs your energy levels—and not everyone gets enough of it.
In fact, an estimated 800 million people in the world have Iron Deficiency Anemia (or IDA), which is when “low iron levels result in fewer red blood cells or red blood cells that are too small, causing the blood not to carry oxygen effectively throughout the body,” says naturopathic physician and midwife Mary Bove, ND.
And if your body isn’t getting the proper circulation of iron, you usually have lower energy, notes Bindiya Gandhi, MD. (Are you seeing the iron-energy connection now?).
So how do you know if you’re not getting enough? First off, if you suspect you might be iron deficient, you should talk to your doctor who can evaluate your symptoms and decide whether to order a blood test to confirm. Some of the symptoms doctors look for are fatigue, headaches, cold hands and feet, and dizziness, among other things, according to Dr. Gandhi.
Luckily, IDA can be relatively easy to remedy with diet and/or supplementation. The recommended dietary allowance for iron ranges from eight to 18 milligrams per day, or the equivalent of at least 12 ounces of beef or three cups of beans.
Floradix® Iron + Herbs contains 10 milligrams of iron per serving, along with herbs and fruit juices to add a pleasant taste (which isn’t always the case for iron supplements!) and also enhance absorption, encourage production of new red blood cells, and support the digestive system, Dr. Bove says.
According to Dr. Bove and Dr. Gandhi, there are several types of people who are typically more likely to have low iron levels, which is why we created this handy graphic to help you determine whether you fall into one of those groups and give you more expert-backed intel on the benefits of iron.
Keep reading for more on the benefits of iron, and how to know whether you might benefit from a supplement.
Top image: Eloisa Ramos/Stocksy; Graphic: W+G Creative