5 Reasons Why Iron is Important & 4 Risk Factors for Iron Deficiency

What type of iron should I consume?

There are two main types of iron. They are known as haem and non-haem iron.

  • Haem iron is found in animal tissue, including meat, poultry, and fish. This form of iron is easier to absorb and raises our iron stores rapidly.
  • Non-haem iron is also found in red meat, poultry, and fish. But this type of iron can also be found in cereal grains and lentils. It is the iron you will get if you’re a vegetarian or vegan. It is not as readily absorbed as haem iron.

The best type of iron to prevent and treat iron deficiency comes from animal tissue. It is known as haem iron. However, vegans and vegetarians can still get plenty of iron if they consume enough non-haem sources and include in their diet fortified foods with iron, including fortified cereals, whole grains, and lentils.

If you have ongoing iron deficiency, it is a good idea to include a supplement in your diet to correct the problem. Talk to your doctor as soon as possible to see what options you have available depending on your case.


Iron and iron deficiency

Iron deficiency

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Mitochondria and Iron: Current Questions.Expert Rev Hematol. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2018 Jan 1.Published in final edited form as: Expert Rev Hematol. 2017 Jan; 10(1): 65–79.
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