As parents, we want our children to grow up healthy and strong. As toddlers, they need iron in their diets so that they can be active and have a good attention span. Iron is important because it contributes to the production of hemoglobin which carries oxygen from the lungs to all parts of your body including muscles! It’s also needed for mental health and energy levels.
When we talk about iron for health, we often think of anemia. Yes, it’s that anemia that causes the deficiency, but the question is what is the cause? Well, it’s the lack of Iron, which is caused by the body not getting enough of the important minerals and nutrients. Without these things, the other 10% just serves as decoration for the anemia, so to speak. It can’t go to waste, so to speak, so it replenishes itself to prevent the body from developing an iron deficiency.
There is tons of great information out there that teaches you all about iron, what it does for the body, and how you can improve your health with it. So if you’re wondering about the importance of iron for health, listen up. You can definitely benefit from iron supplements, but they shouldn’t replace a proper diet. Iron deficiencies can cause major problems, so don’t take them lightly. Also, if you need any help in determining your anemia level, feel free to contact your doctor for more information.1
Best Food Sources With Iron – A Low Iron Level
When it comes to learning about the best food sources with iron, there are several options out there. Although red meat is an important part of a varied diet, most people will agree that eating foods such as red meat should be limited or reduced when talking about iron and what it provides to our bodies. Red meat is packed full of iron but it’s also loaded with other harmful elements that really don’t do much for us.2
Foods that are high in iron include poultry products, fish, legumes, and root crops. Other foods that are good sources of iron are vegetables such as broccoli and spinach. Most fruits and vegetables are low iron absorption foods so any food source would be better than simply red meat. However, consuming too much iron may increase the risk of developing low iron level-related diseases.3
Pairing Non-Heme Iron-Rich Foods With Vitamin C-rich Foods
Studies show that a diet rich in vitamin C increases the absorption of nonheme iron (hemoglobin A, HbA1c) in human blood. Non-heme iron is iron-rich food that does not contain any iron. Foods rich in vitamin C are rich in non-heme iron. It, therefore, stands to reason that if we want to maintain good health and maximize our body’s ability to absorb nutrients better, we should pair vitamins C and iron.4
Vitamin C and iron seem to go together naturally. But is this an accurate pairing? Not exactly. There have been studies to suggest that a vitamin C-rich diet may increase the absorption of iron but may increase the absorption of HbA1c as well. This is because HbA1c is the main type of iron in a healthy person’s body.
So how do you maintain a diet containing high amounts of vitamin C but low amounts of iron? We can achieve this by eating less non-heme iron-rich foods and more vitamin C-rich foods. For example, it has been studied that a diet rich in beta-carotene (found in vegetables, fruits, and some legumes) may help lower blood pressure. The beta carotene is converted into vitamin A by our bodies. However, not all vitamins are converted into vitamin A; sometimes they are lost in the digestive process. Taking a supplement that contains vitamin A will ensure that we get enough vitamin A in our body and will ensure that we don’t suffer from vitamin A deficiency.5
Foods that are low in vitamin C are those rich in Vitamin A. Low-fat dairy products, meats, sweet potatoes, and green leafy vegetables are all good sources of vitamin C. These foods help us get enough vitamin A without having to eat foods that are very rich in iron. The only thing is that Vitamin A is more easily digested when it is present in its natural state rather than being artificially enhanced. Therefore, eating low-fat dairy products and reducing the amount of red meat and processed foods (which are also high in iron) will achieve relatively lower doses of vitamin C.
When it comes to iron, a very common misconception is that those who have higher iron intake will be healthier. This is simply untrue. High iron intake has nothing to do with better health. In fact, those with higher iron intake have a higher risk of developing colon cancer and/or colon adenocarcinoma. Colon cancer kills a lot of people every year. So, if you want a healthy body, make sure you eat plenty of fruits and vegetables as well as non-heme iron-rich foods such as green leafy vegetables, eggs, fish, and dairy products.
It is very important for our body to absorb iron and absorb it in appropriate amounts. Too much iron can be toxic, so it is best to take the recommended daily amounts of vitamin C and iron-rich foods as well as non-heme iron-rich foods. Also, remember to choose foods that are good sources of vitamins A, D, and E. Remember that vitamin C and iron are not the only nutrients to look for in foods. Other nutrients are also important for healthy living, but these two nutrients are the most important.
Consider Iron Supplements for Toddlers
Considering iron supplements for toddlers? This can be a good option to consider especially if your child is not getting enough iron in his food. Toddlers, especially the younger ones, who have weak immune systems are more susceptible to illnesses especially those that are related to the upper respiratory tract like colds and coughs.6 Iron deficiency can also result in growth deficiencies in babies and children and this is why you have to make sure that your child has sufficient amounts of iron in his diet so he will not be at risk of developing diseases.7
It is also believed that some vitamins lack iron but iron supplements for toddlers are proven to work well in providing proper amounts of iron to them. There are many studies and researches that show that iron deficiency is really very common in the United States and other developed countries.8 But we all know that iron supplements for toddlers are one of the best ways to provide proper amounts of iron for them.
If you are going to give iron supplements for toddlers, make sure that they are of high quality just like with other health supplements. You have to make sure that the iron pills you are choosing are effective for your child and not just another sugar pill that will just give you a sugar rush. The best iron supplements for toddlers are those that do not just give you a shot of iron but also a rich amount of other minerals such as folic acid and even other vitamins and minerals.
Don’t Overdo It on Milk For Your Toddler
Many pediatricians advise against the overuse of iron for toddlers, and rightfully so. Milk is a great source of iron, but it’s best not to overdo it. In fact, it’s probably a better idea for your toddler to have smaller amounts of iron-rich foods throughout the day than to have an iron-fortified glass of milk at every meal.9
Of course, if you’re feeding your toddler who has an iron deficiency or other type of iron deficiency, the best thing you can do for him or her is to take iron supplements. You should never give your child iron-rich food, such as milk or meat unless he or she has been specifically instructed to do so. Iron deficiencies can cause many serious medical conditions later in life, including heart problems, brain damage, fatigue, and more. Iron for toddlers who are not being properly nourished can also lead to growth deficiencies such as hiatal hernia, poor skin appearance, and poor growth.10
If you’re thinking about iron supplements for your baby or toddler, talk to your doctor about whether your child would benefit from iron supplements or not. For some toddlers, iron supplements may even pose a serious health risk. If you’re not sure whether your child needs iron supplements, talk to your doctor before you decide to start giving him or her iron-rich food. Talk to your pediatrician about the best iron for toddlers, how much to give your toddler per meal, and what to do in case your child develops an iron deficiency and an iron overload.
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1 “Nutrition for kids: Guidelines for a healthy diet – Mayo Clinic.” https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/childrens-health/in-depth/nutrition-for-kids/art-20049335 Accessed 16 Aug. 2021.
2 “Foods to Fight Iron Deficiency – Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.” 23 Jan. 2020, Accessed 16 Aug. 2021.
3 “12 Healthy Foods That Are High in Iron – Healthline.” 27 Jan. 2020, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/healthy-iron-rich-foods Accessed 16 Aug. 2021.
4 “Vitamin C Benefits, Sources, Supplements, & More – WebMD.” 12 Sep. 2020, https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/the-benefits-of-vitamin-c Accessed 16 Aug. 2021.
5 “15 Signs and Symptoms of Vitamin C Deficiency – Healthline.” 25 May. 2018, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-c-deficiency-symptoms Accessed 16 Aug. 2021.
6 “IRON SUPPLEMENTATION RECOMMENDATIONS | Pediatric ….” https://pediatricpartnerskc.com/Education/Nutrition/Iron-Supplementation-Recommendations Accessed 16 Aug. 2021.
7 “Iron Supplements for Kids: Safe Types – Healthline.” https://www.healthline.com/health/parenting/iron-supplements-for-kids Accessed 16 Aug. 2021.
8 “10 Signs and Symptoms of Iron Deficiency – Healthline.” https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/iron-deficiency-signs-symptoms Accessed 16 Aug. 2021.
9 “Milk: Health benefits and nutrition – Medical News Today.” 28 Jan. 2020, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/273451 Accessed 16 Aug. 2021.
10 “Milk: Health benefits, nutrition, and risks – Medical News Today.” https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/296564 Accessed 16 Aug. 2021.