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Supplementing The Iron In Your Diet

Nov 30, 2007
As much as you scrupulously plan for your daily meals making sure to include all the nutrients recommended as according to the nutritional dietary allowance chart, you have to admit that there will be odd days where you go off track. This is considerably true especially with the hectic lifestyles that most families have these days. Most moms who handle career and the household at the same time get to a point where they may overlook one factor from the other. This is however a straight forward solution to this deficiency and that is nutritional supplements.

One important nutrient that should not be missing in anyone's diet is iron. This element is usually gained through the consumption of iron rich foods which are more of the meat variety like beef or pork liver, chicken, turkey and particularly in oysters and clams. The iron in meat is greatly preferred and recommended as these foods enable iron to be absorbed easily in the body. Given this fact, there is no need for vegetarians to fret however as iron can also be found in our food sources other than from the flesh of chicken, pigs or fish. One can get iron from simply consuming a good cupful of their favorite cereal or even from a slice of wheat bread. Certain dried fruits like prunes and peanuts are a good source of iron as well. If all else fails, there is a good number of iron supplements available in the market to augment your iron need requirements.

So now we come to supplementing your diet with iron. There are basically three kinds of supplements for iron. These are Ferrous Gluconate, Ferrous Fumerate and Ferrous Sulphate. It is important to note than when buying iron supplements, one should look into the elemental iron and not the total iron when it comes to a tablet or capsule's iron content. The elemental content generally gives you the equivalent milligram of iron the pill has more precisely than the total iron content which may be affected by some other factors.

One must be clear on the reason for taking in iron supplements. The basis can be for preventive measures as prescribed by your health practitioner or physician; or otherwise it can be mainly to supplement one's iron intake. It is important that the former reason may not be confused with the latter as iron supplements can vary and erroneous type or dosage can cause harmful health consequences.

Although these iron supplements are intentionally taken by most to improve their diet and health concerns, there are certain side effects that should be taken account of. These would include gastrointestinal problems which include among others diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, constipation, stomach distress and even dark colored stools. These side effects are typically dose dependent thus it is very important to carefully follow the doctor's instructions when taking them in. Taking in too much or too little could cause complications. It is said that Ferrous Gluconate is generally milder on the stomach than most iron supplements as some pharmacists suggests. Taking the iron supplements after meals is also usually recommended as there is less risk of side effects as some say.
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