We all need a healthy amount of iron and folic acid to keep our bodies performing optimally. When we don’t get enough, or when our bodies don’t use these nutrients efficiently, it’s easy to tell: An early sign is hard-hitting fatigue. But iron and folic acid are important for more than just energy, too. And for women, these nutrients are even more critical.
Here’s what you need to know about these crucial nutrients…
What is iron?
Iron is a mineral that is essential to the production of hemoglobin in red blood cells. And hemoglobin makes it possible for our red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout our bodies. If we become deficient in iron, our bodies can’t create red blood cells – so oxygen is no longer being efficiently distributed.
What is folic acid?
Folic acid (vitamin B9) is a vitamin that aids in cell division, and in the production of red blood cells. Because it’s responsible for helping these two critical functions, it’s an essential vitamin for women who may become pregnant.
The importance of iron and folic acid before and during pregnancy
The Office on Women’s Health reports that “birth defects of the brain and spine happen in the very early stages of pregnancy, often before a woman knows she is pregnant.” Because about half of all pregnancies are unplanned, it’s recommended that any woman of childbearing age should be sure to get 400-800 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid each day.
Additionally, getting enough iron during pregnancy is important to both the mother and developing child. It helps ensure that both have enough oxygen, and it helps fight fatigue for the expecting mom.
Getting iron and folic acid from daily diet
Plenty of foods act as good sources of these essential nutrients. To get as much folic acid as we can from our daily diets, we need to eat lots of whole foods such as:
- Dark green, leafy vegetables (like spinach)
- Citrus fruits
- Whole grains
Some packaged foods labeled as “enriched” may also contain folic acid – but check nutrition labels to know for sure. Iron is found in food in two forms:
This form is more easily absorbed by the body, and is found in foods like:
- Meat – with red meat offering the highest concentration of iron
This form is not as easily absorbed, but is still important for balanced nutrition. It can be found in foods such as:
- Mustard greens
Not all of us are able to eat enough of these foods every day to get adequates amounts of iron and folic acid. Busy schedules, among other things, make eating balanced meals a challenge. So for many, a quality nutritional supplement can help. Your doctor can help you decide if an iron or folic acid supplement is right for you. You can also consult the Nutrilite Supplement Recommender.
Nutrilite™ Iron Folic*
If you decide you do need to supplement your diet, Nutrilite™ Iron Folic is a good choice, providing a blend of nutrients vital for women of childbearing age, who are especially susceptible to iron deficiency. It offers:
- A unique blend of iron from three sources – iron bisglycinate, iron fumarate, and mustard greens, one of nature’s richest plant sources of iron.
- Vitamin C, to increase the absorption of iron fumarate and iron bisglycinate.
- 200 mcg of folic acid. Healthful diets with adequate folate may reduce a woman’s risk of having a child with a brain or spinal birth defect.†
Want to boost your intake? Order Nutrilite™ Iron Folic today.