Iron is a trace mineral that we require in tiny amounts from our diet. Even though we only require tiny amounts of the trace minerals, they’re still just as important as the major minerals.
The body needs iron to help manufacture haemoglobin which is present in the red blood cells, which in turn are required to transport oxygen around the body to the cells, tissues and organs.
There are two types of iron - haem iron and non-haem iron. Haem iron is found in animal products and non-haem iron is found in plant-based products. The body can absorb and utilise them both but it’s thought that those only consuming non-haem iron will need to eat more iron-rich foods than those consuming animal products.
Good sources of iron include meat, beans, nuts, dried fruits and dark green leafy vegetables such as watercress and kale. Products made with wholegrain and soya flours are also rich in iron.