As the first study on the connection between iron status and cognitive and somatic depressive symptoms for women of reproductive age, these findings should come as big news—especially if you’re a woman between 15 and 49.
“The consequences of iron deficiency go beyond physical health outcomes and can affect mental health such as depressive symptoms,” the study authors note, adding that their findings “bolster the evidence that prevention and treatment of iron deficiency may be helpful for women’s mental health.”
The good news is, there are a plethora of iron-rich foods you can work into your regular diet, like oysters and mussels, chicken, beef, or pork liver, asparagus, spinach, apricots, soybeans, and more.
You can even find foods that are fortified with iron, like certain cereals, or get straight to the point and take an iron supplement. We always recommend eating a diet that’s rich in nutrients like iron, but supplementing can go a long way too. Most quality multivitamins include iron, so you can also find one that has at least 50% of your daily iron, plus other nutrients to get the most bang for your buck. (Here are our favorite multivitamins for women, to that end.)