Keeping iron levels high keeps the body healthy

Posted at 3:34 PM, Oct 07, 2012
and last updated 2012-10-08 00:10:57-04

SALT LAKE CITY - Iron is an important mineral found in the body that helps keep you oxygenated. When those levels are off, you can have severe side effects.

Paola Velez, a registered dietitian, says iron deficiency is the most common nutrient in the United States and is one of the leading causes of anemia. Having enough iron in your body is important to maintain good health.

"Iron is a mineral that our body uses for many functions," said Velez. "Together iron and hemoglobin help transport oxygen from your lungs to the rest to the rest of your body."

The immune system can also be negatively affected by iron deficiencies, as well as cognitive thinking skills.

Signs of iron deficiency include feeling tired and dizzy or having a shortness of breath. Your doctor can do a blood test to check for anemia. There is also a new bloodless test that can check hemoglobin levels.

The new device places a cuff over the finger and gives a digital display readout, which makes detection of iron deficiency painless and easy when other symptoms aren't present.

To keep iron levels at their ideal, eat plenty of leafy green vegetables, lean meat, legumes and iron-fortified cereals.