Plant Based Diet
Plant Based Diet
By | November 22nd, 2012 | Modified - December 4th, 2014

Iron Is Vital For Several Processes In The Body

Iron's Role In The Body And Its Benefits
Iron’s Role In The Body And Its Benefits

Iron is required for the production of red blood cells and is also part of hemoglobin, a protein in blood cells. Oxygen we breathe into the lungs binds to the iron in red blood cells, and is carried to the organs in the body. Once the oxygen is delivered, the iron in the cells then bind to the carbon dioxide produced in the body and transports the carbon dioxide to the lungs where it is exhaled from the body. Plant life then uses the carbon dioxide and returns oxygen back to the environment and continues the cycle.

Iron is also needed for the proper functioning of the myoglobin protein found in heart and skeletal muscles. The oxygen in the myoglobin protein also binds to oxygen, supplying oxygen to the muscles.

Iron and Enzyme Functioning

Iron is needed for proper functioning of many enzymes, including enzymes involved in the production of energy. Enzymes are biological catalysts, mainly proteins, generated by the body to speed up chemical reactions.

Role Of Iron In Immunity

Definitive cause and effect between iron and immunity hasn’t been established, but there is an association between iron deficiency and impaired immunity. Iron deficiency may contribute to impaired T-cell functioning, which are the antigen-killing properties of the immune system.

Iron Deficiency

Iron deficiency results from either not getting enough iron from the foods we eat, from excessive blood loss, or the inability to absorb iron properly. Iron deficiency can cause iron deficiency anemia, where the body produces less red blood cells. Iron deficiency anemia leads microcytic anemia, where the body produces smaller red blood cells. Symptoms of iron deficiency anemia can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Hair loss
  • Irritability
  • Paleness
  • Weakness
  • Brittle or grooved nails
  • Impaired immune function
  • Restless legs syndrome

Vegetable non-heme iron sources:

Medline Plus

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About Author:

I obtained a Certificate in Plant Based Nutrition from Cornell University, a BA in Organizational Behavior and Communications from NYU, worked as an elementary school teacher, and have studied social work. I am a web designer/developer and I enjoy boxing, kick boxing, cycling, power walking, and basically anything challenging, and my plant based diet supports all that I do. Eating a plant based diet and exercising is a great way to achieve healthy living. ~ Natural Life Energy

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  • Aqiyl says:

    Hi Michell, I am glad you got through. Thank you for your kind words, and I am glad I was able to share information with you that will hopefully make your journey easier. Peace and Blessings be with you.

  • Michell says:

    Hi, finally…lol! ;-) I was trying to leave a comment on your other post about iron and came across this one and found it very informative as well. I’ve been leaning towards a more plant based diet and your articles have been a great help in making the journey easier. It’s so important that we know what we’re eating and how it affects our bodies. We can eliminate many illnesses and diseases from our lives if we would only educate ourselves concerning our health. Thanks so much for sharing your wealth of knowledge with us! Have a blessed evening!


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