What foods have iron? Anemia and signs of a deficiency explained | News Fission

Please, hear me out: Have you ever felt the craving to eat ice? OK now, what about dirt? Or even clay? This phenomenon is called pagophagia and this craving, along with fatigue, rapid heart rate or shortness of breath, may mean you have insufficient levels of iron, a mineral found in the Earth’s crust and in our bodies.

Dr. Travis Nemkov is an assistant research professor in biochemistry and molecular genetics at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. He walks us through what iron is, why it’s important for the body, what a deficiency feels like and which foods contain it.

What is iron?

Nemkov says iron is the most common element on Earth, so it’s not surprising that iron is one of the most abundant elements in our body. When the body is deficient in iron, anemia or low red blood cell count can occur. Nemkov says this is because, “iron is critical for the body to produce hemoglobin, which is the protein in red blood cells that uses iron to transport oxygen throughout the body.”

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