The importance of micronutrients - Women's Health and Fitness Magazine




Iron (Fe)


You can OD on some vitamins and minerals, and iron is one of them. Sure, females are particularly susceptible to iron deficiency and adequate supply is essential during pregnancy, but “ensure you have a blood test to determine whether supplementation is necessary”, Collins advises. 

CARE FACTOR: Approximately 25 per cent of the population is at risk of iron deficiency. Iron is essential in moving “oxygen through the blood stream to prevent anaemia and tiredness”, says Collins. Signs of deficiency include tiredness, pale inside lower eyelid, inhibited cognition, menstrual problems, brittle nails, cold sensitivity, increased bruising and weakness.

ON THE DAILY: 18 mg/day. Women of menstruating age need more.

ON A PLATE: Red meat, almonds, avocado, liver, kidney, parsley poultry, wheat germ. One hundred g of lean red meat provides around 1.1 to 1.5 mg iron.

SABOTEURS: Take iron separate  from coffee, which can decrease absorption by up to 40 per cent. Dairy can also bind to iron and inhibit absorption. Beware of excess zinc, aspirin and antacids. 

Winter Sign

Low energy 


Fatigue, cold sensitivity


Vitamin B2, B12, C, copper and selenium. Copper in particular is required for iron metabolism, and vitamin C is required for its absorption.


Dairy and coffee 


Morning, but choose another time if you take a calcium supplement in the AM, accredited practising dietitian Melanie McGrice says.