This is a guest post by Matt Ruscigno, who writes the blog True Love Health.
True or False: The iron that our bodies require is the same element found in a cast-iron skillet.
This is a real true or false question on my college exam, and it fools a surprising number of my students. Iron is greatly misunderstood as a nutrient, especially when it comes to vegetarian and vegan diets and by those trying to adopt a plant-based diet.
The mineral is found all over the earth and is essential to red blood cells transporting oxygen and nutrients to every cell in our body, connecting us directly to the land we live on. Pretty amazing, right?
But iron deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency in North America, with symptoms including fatigue, pale skin, weakness and inability to maintain body temperature. And as vegetarians and vegans, we should be paying attention to more than just protein.
When it comes to iron (and especially iron for women), vegans should pay special attention to make sure we’re getting enough — and, along with vitamin b12 and a handful of other hard-to-get nutrients (like the ones featured in Complement Plus), may be one of the important supplements for vegans to consider.