It's a fact. Women need more
iron and calcium than men do. Iron is needed to produce a protein known as hemoglobin. Hemoglobin carries oxygen to the cells within our bodies, and removes carbon dioxide from
the cells. Oxygen is needed in the cells to provide us with energy, so having enough hemoglobin is essential to keeping our energy levels high.
Iron is also needed for the enzymes the play a major part of keeping our bodies muscles functioning well too, and it is needed for our bodies to properly utilize B vitamins as well.
Iron needs calcium, copper, cobalt and Vitamin C in order to work properly within our bodies. If you're eating a meal which contains high iron foods, it's a good idea to also have high Vitamin C foods in the same meal. This way, the iron will be absorbed and used within the body easier.
Women particularly need to make sure they're getting enough iron in either their foods or their supplements, because extra iron is lost through menstruation or other bleeding. Elderly people also need more iron because their bodies tend to not absorb it as well; Pregnant women need extra because they're using it themselves and the growing fetus is using it too; and Children or teenagers going through quick growth periods need extra iron too.
Iron helps give you energy and prevent fatique. It produces hemoglobin which we've already covered, and it helps in proper growth too. Iron also helps our bodies resist stress and disease, plus it helps our muscles function well, and it gives us good skin tones too.
People who are low in iron tend to exhibit a wide variety of symptoms. Some of those include: Unusual or extreme fatique; Anemia; General debility or weakness in the body; low endurance; breathing problems or dizziness; quick irritability; hazy or foggy thinking; short attention spans; depression; headaches; poor skin tones or sick looking skin; brittle nails; headaches; nausea after meals and loss of appetite; losing hair.
To make things more complicated, there are different types of iron and they're used differently in our bodies. Hydrolized-protein chelate are organic iron supplements which can be easily assimilated by our bodies. Ferric and Ferrous iron though, are the types usually added to enriched foods, and these can cause constipation in the body. These are also not absorbed and assimilated by the body very well either.
You can also get iron from a variety of herbs too, and these include Alfalfa, Aloe vera, Burdock, Cayenne, Chickweed, Dandelion, Garlic, Ginger, Kelp, Parsley, Peppermint, Red Raspberry, and Rosemary.
Natural food sources for iron include liver, sunflower seeds, dried peas and beans, eggs, prunes, raisins, oatmeal, grapes, lean meat, nuts, and green vegetables such as broccoli and spinach.