The body needs two main types of nutrients to ensure regular and healthy functioning – micronutrients and macronutrients. While the common macronutrients like proteins, carbohydrates, and fats are needed in larger doses, micronutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, are needed in far fewer amounts. Iron is one such micronutrient and is considered extremely beneficial for the body. This mineral takes care of our body by boosting the generation of red blood cells. Interestingly, there are also some significant iron benefits for skin that are worth considering.
Types of Iron Beneficial for Skin
There are two naturally occurring states in food sources that contain iron. These are heme iron and nonheme iron. Heme iron is found only in non-vegetarian sources and nonheme iron can be found in plant sources as well as fortified foods. Notably, the former is more easily assimilated into the body so that you can experience iron benefits for skin much faster.
However, it is also possible to experience the complete benefits of this micronutrient from nonheme iron sources. Since the need for iron can change with age, it is important to consume a healthy balance of both heme and nonheme iron-rich foods to gain the maximum benefits of iron in the body.
Iron Health Benefits for Skin
According to the latest research, iron benefits the skin in more ways than one and should become an essential part of your daily diet.
1. Reducing Dark Spots and Under-Eye Circles
Dark spots and under-eye circles are usually caused by anaemic conditions wherein less than required amount of oxygenated blood reaches the blood vessels in the surface of the skin and under the eyes. However, when you consume a healthy dose of iron in your daily diet, your body is able to send enough oxygenated blood to these parts. This helps to reduce dark spots and under-eye dark circles.
2. Improving the Glow of Skin
The bright pinkish glow that some people have on their skin is due to a healthy amount of red blood cells (RBCs) and is one of the many benefits of iron in the body. If your skin tone is unusually pale, then it is likely that you have a low count of RBCs in your blood. In such a case, you should consider adding good amounts of meat and green vegetables to your diet to increase their production. This will brighten your skin and restore its glowing complexion.
3. Boosting Wound Healing
Recent research has shown that iron is a highly effective nutrient in the treatment of wounds on the skin. Since iron boosts the generation of red blood cells (RBCs), it is additionally beneficial for promoting wound healing. Moreover, there are some significant benefits of iron supplements. Therefore, doctors prescribe these supplements to the anaemic patients with cutaneous wounds to promote faster healing.
Which Iron Foods to Eat for Skin Health?
The best sources of both heme and nonheme iron are meats and grains, respectively. If you are a non-vegetarian, then you can easily add meat like chicken, fish, beef, and seafood to your daily diet. If you are a vegetarian and know how iron benefits your skin, then you can add lentils, fortified grains, beans, spinach, and even fortified breakfast cereals (like oats and muesli) to your diet.
The Bottom Line
Since iron has been proven to provide such a multitude of health benefits, it is no surprise that this micronutrient works wonders for the skin as well. If you wish to reap all the iron benefits for skin, including a glowing complexion and elimination of dark patches, you can consider the readily available over-the-counter (OTC) supplements.