Why is iron more important to women? – Here’s everything you should know about it!
Iron deficiency is the most common disease in the world and affects around 30-35% of the population, with 20% of them being women of childbearing age. Iron is an essential trace element that plays a crucial role in many important body functions. It is responsible for the transport of oxygen from the lungs to the tissues, promotes our concentration, makes us more efficient and much more. If there is too little iron in the body, we speak of iron deficiency, which must be treated as quickly as possible. Do you often feel weak and tired? Then you likely have iron supply issues. Or have you ever wondered if and why iron is so important for women? We have made ourselves smart for you and explain everything you should know about it!
This is how important iron is to women during pregnancy
When we are pregnant, the daily requirement of many minerals and vitamins increases significantly. While the iron requirement in women between the ages of 10-50 years is around 15 mg per day, it doubles during pregnancy. During this time, more iron is needed primarily for the growth of the uterus, placenta and the unborn child itself, as well as for the formation of blood. Balanced iron levels are therefore of crucial importance for the healthy development of your baby. However, 30 mg iron per day is a lot and a pregnant woman would have to consume around 6000-8000 calories a day in order to be able to absorb the required dose through her diet.
To prevent iron deficiency during pregnancy, it would be better to choose iron supplements that are gentle on your stomach and have a high bioavailability. While most iron supplements usually consist of only one (animal) component the QuattroFerrin from “Biogena” both vegetable and organic iron. The combination of the vegetable sources from the curry leaf and the koji mushroom with organic iron bisglycinate and ice pyrophosphate also helps to optimize iron absorption.
Iron deficiency and menstruation
Women of childbearing age are at a much higher risk of developing iron deficiency than men. We owe this primarily to our monthly periods. With every menstruation we lose around 60 ml of blood and thus also 25 mg of iron. During this period, you should make sure that you consume 15 mg of iron daily with your food. However, if your menstrual period lasts longer than 7 days or is heavier, your iron needs may be even higher. In some cases, women lose over 90 ml of blood per menstruation and the additional iron loss must also be compensated for.
Iron for women who want to have children
Every woman who wants to have children would do her best to ensure that the child is born healthy. Together with folic acid, iron is of great importance for women and the maternal organism. The connection between fertility and iron deficiency has already been positively examined several times in a number of studies. Empty iron stores and a folic acid deficiency can affect the development of the placenta and the baby’s weight at birth very early on. In addition, with lower iron levels, the child’s risk of cardiovascular diseases in adulthood is significantly higher. If you want to have children, you should definitely rule out deficiencies with your gynecologist or, if necessary, consider a suitable supplement strategy. It would also be an advantage if you included several high-quality sources of iron in your diet at the latest when you want to have children.
Iron deficiency and exercise
Our blood volume can increase by around 10-20 percent if workouts are too intense and strenuous. However, in order for us to perform at our best, a good supply of oxygen is simply essential. Because the better our body cells are supplied with oxygen, the more energy we have. Too little iron, on the other hand, leads to low hemoglobin levels and thus to restricted oxygen transport to the muscles. Athletes have an increased need for iron due to the intense permanent stress on the body as well as increased sweating and the strain on the muscles. Since our menstrual period causes additional iron loss, iron is even more important for women who exercise regularly. According to the latest studies, around 54 percent of female athletes are affected by an iron deficiency. Diet and nutrition also play a role here: a one-sided diet and the avoidance of red meat can also have a negative effect on iron levels.