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15 Signs You May Have an Iron Deficiency

Iron can make the difference between you feeling on top of the world and downright miserable. Check out these surprising signs you need to pump up your iron levels.
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How to get more iron

Iron requirements aren't one-size-fits-all, especially for women. Women between the ages of 19 and 50 typically need 18 mg per day. However, if you're pregnant, that amount bumps up to 27 mg. If you're breastfeeding, you should get just 9 mg. Plus, how heavy your periods are could also alter your needs. Older than 50 and not menstruating? You only need 8 mg per day. That's not a hard target to hit—a single serving of lentils, spinach, beef, nuts, chicken, or chickpeas, will all score you at least a couple milligrams.

And when it comes to iron, more isn't necessarily better. "While most the attention is on iron deficiency, there is a concern as well for iron overload, which studies indicate can damage internal organs and may increase the risk of diabetes, heart attack, and cancer, particularly in older people," Batayneh says. Try to hit your RDA of iron, but don't worry about going above and beyond the recommendations.

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