Iron is an essential mineral, necessary to produce haemoglobin, which plays an important role in storing and transporting oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body, including the muscles for healthy muscle contraction.

There are two forms of dietary iron known as haem and non-haem iron:

Haem iron can be found in animal-based foods, including lean red meats, poultry and fish

Non-haem iron can be found in plant-based foods, including nuts, legumes, grains, fruits and vegetables

Iron levels are tightly controlled within the body, with levels regulated by absorption rather than excretion, and many factors can hinder the amount of iron absorbed within the gastrointestinal tract.

Iron absorption

Haem iron is more soluble and readily absorbed by the body when compared to non-haem iron. Non-haem iron is less soluble and poorly absorbed as it’s easily disrupted and inhibited by other dietary factors including tea, coffee, milk, wholegrains and chocolate. Combining foods rich in vitamin C with non-haem iron based foods, helps to solubilise and enhance the absorption of iron from the digestive tract. Haem iron is thought to have 2-3 times greater absorption than non-haem iron. Iron supplementation may be beneficial when dietary intake is inadequate, and deficiency is common in vegetarians, vegans, the elderly, and during infancy, adolescence and pregnancy.

Author's Bio: 

Go Vita Tanunda health shop has been serving its community since 1974.

In the early days it was a one man operation until the 1990s when naturopath Peter Balogh established his consulting practice in the clinic of the business.

When the opportunity to buy the business arose, Pete instinctively knew he had to be the next owner – and only the third in its now, 40-plus year history.

Pete has always had an affinity for natural health, having a deep and abiding interest in alternative treatments from an early age.

Lee Teusner, Pete’s partner in life and in business has also spent many years developing her knowledge and an ongoing enthusiasm for natural health as a career and in her everyday life.