This is the one nutrient American women aren’t getting enough of

When you think about eating a healthy, balanced diet, you probably focus on getting on enough protein, fats, complex carbs, and fruits and vegetables. But there are all kind of nutrients to think about as well, and there’s one nutrient in particular the vast majority of women just aren’t getting enough of: iron.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), iron is the number one nutrient that people around the world just aren’t getting enough of.

In fact, it seems that 80 percent of people don’t have enough iron in their body, and up to 30 percent suffer from anemia due to this deficiency. It’s especially difficult for women to maintain the right amount of this nutrient in their body at any given time, since we’re losing so much blood every month when we menstruate.

Iron is an important nutrient to our bodies because it’s an essential protein building block that keeps our muscles strong and carries oxygen from head to toe. Without it, you might suffer from memory loss, severe fatigue, shortness of breath, and trouble maintaining body temperature.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has conducted research showing that iron is the one nutrient that most women aren’t getting enough of.

It’s the second most common nutrient deficiency in our country, just behind vitamin B6. The main reason we’re not getting enough iron is because we’re simply not consuming foods that contain enough iron or we’re not taking a multivitamin on a regular basis that will give us all the iron we need.

Women are supposed to have about 18 mg of iron a day, while men only require about 8 mg. If you feel like the symptoms of iron deficiency are the norm in your life, commit to eating more iron-rich foods, which include edamame, lentils, clams, steak, and broccoli. It’s always a great idea to consider a multivitamin as well, because that will ensure you’re getting all the iron you need in one fell swoop.

Don’t overcompensate on your iron levels, though, and take too many supplements, because no good can come from having too much iron in your body. In fact, it can be quite toxic. If you have any questions or you feel like you want to make any changes, be sure to speak to your health provider first.

Just because it’s common for women to be low on iron doesn’t mean it has to stay that way.

You can’t afford to walk around all day, exhausted and out of breath, because you have important stuff to do. So make sure your iron levels are where they should be. Your life will be so much better for it.

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