Pump up the iron

Why is iron so important? Julie Stefanski, RDN, registered dietitian nutritionist & Academy of Nutrition. 

Dietetics Spokesperson, says we need iron to generate haemoglobin & myoglobin, which carry oxygen throughout the body. 

Low levels of the mineral can make you weary & weak, impede brain function, & weaken the immune system, making it harder to fight off colds & other ailments, adds Stefanski. 

Anemia is a low red blood cell count. Hemoglobin is vital for endurance athletes. 

Iron deficiency is on the rise in the U.S., which is worrying. A 2021 study in The Journal of Nutrition found that the rate of iron deficiency among Americans has risen since 1999. 

As have the rates of severe anaemia and iron deficiency anaemia deaths. Long-term iron shortage can cause heart disease & death. 

What's the problem? Between 1999 & 2018, female iron intake fell 9.5% & male intake fell 6.6%. During the roughly two-decade study period, beef consumption declined while chicken consumption rose. 

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