Iron Deficiency

Iron is a mineral found in many proteins and enzymes that plays a vital role in oxygen transport, specifically in hemoglobin and myoglobin found in red blood cells within the bloodstream (Mighty Micronutrients). Iron deficiency is typically translated into physical symptoms, such as fatigue and poor work performance. However, it is also characterized by “decreased immunity, slow cognitive development, difficulty maintaining body temperature, and glossitis (inflammation of the tongue)” (Mighty Micronutrients).

Having an iron deficiency can also cause iron deficiency anemia, which is a condition in which the body does not have enough healthy red blood cells to provide oxygen to various tissues throughout the body (PubMed Health). The CDC qualifies this type of anemia as one of the most “severe and important nutritional deficiencies in the world” (IMMPaCt). It also estimates that more than 30% of the world’s population (2 billion people) are anemic, while up to 60-80% of the global population (4-5 billion people) may just be iron deficient in general (IMMPaCt). Natural sources of iron include red meat, fish, poultry, lentils, beans, tofu, and spinach (Mighty Micronutrients).