Why is iron so important for our bodies?
Iron is an important mineral that aids in the formation of oxygen-carrying materials, including hemoglobin and myoglobin (found in the red blood cells and tissues). When iron levels are low, the oxygen available to the red blood cells and tissues is insufficient for proper function. This can cause anemia.
There are two types of iron that your body needs, non-heme iron and heme iron. Non-heme iron is found in plant-based foods and approximately 2-10% of this iron is absorbed by the body. Heme iron is found in animal products and approximately 10-30% of it is absorbed by the body.
The beautiful thing about these two types of iron is that they must be taken together in order for your body to use them both efficiently. Your body is better able to absorb the non-heme iron when combined with some sort of animal product (heme iron). Likewise, the heme iron is absorbed much more efficiently than any iron supplementation.