Iron is an essential mineral needed in the human body to regenerate and rebuild red blood cells.
A deficiency in other minerals are often present when these symptoms arise, especially Silica and Calcium as well as B Vitamins, Folic acid, Choline and Biotin. All of these combined nutrients are needed for healthy growth and maintenance of hair and nails. In cases of Iron deficiency it is recommended to take an Iron supplement which contains co-factors such as Vitamin B12, Folic acid and Vitamin C to improve absorption. Supplementing with Iron is a recognised way of building Iron stores, however, it is also beneficial to increase Iron rich foods in your diet.
The recommended daily intake of Iron for adult women is between 12-15mg/ day (more is needed if there is a deficiency). Many women who have a heavy menstruation are commonly deficient in Iron as it is lost in their monthly bleeding cycle. Vegetarians, vegans and pregnant women should also observe their levels of Iron.
Haeme forms of Iron are yielded from animal sources and are considered to be easily absorbed, whereas non-haeme forms from vegetable sources have lower absorption rates. However, for vegetarians and vegans who are at risk of Iron deficiency it is recommended to take foods which are non-heame sources along with foods rich in Vitamin C and B Vitamins to improve the absorption.