One in five women is deficient in iron, the crucial mineral that ferries oxygen to every cell in the body. The signs include:
>Cold hands and feet
If you're concerned, ask your doctor to check your iron stores. New Duke University research suggests that low iron levels silence vital genes, including those that provide your cells with energy and protect you from cancer-causing free radicals.
To ensure that you're getting enough, include red meat, fish, or poultry in your diet, says Cornell University iron expert Rebecca J. Stoltzfus, PhD.. Vegetarians can combine iron-rich spinach, lentils, and whole grains with vitamin C-rich fruits (C boosts absorption). A multivitamin can help, though iron absorption might be reduced. And only take high-dose iron supplements under a doctor's supervision; excessive iron can be dangerous. P.