One of the essential nutrients we need is iron. Find out which foods have high iron content from this article.
Iron is very important in your daily diet because it is an important component of hemoglobin, the red pigment responsible for transporting oxygen to the cells and removing the carbon dioxide from them.Unfortunately, iron belongs to the top six nutrients that are deficient in people all across the globe. Women are at greater risk in iron deficiency due to blood loss during their monthly period.
How do you know if you are deficient in iron?
- Short of breath
- Fast heartbeat
- Cold hands and feet
- Crave for dirt or clay
- Brittle nails
- Sores at the corners of the mouth
- Sore tongue
- Difficulty in swallowing
Problems with Iron Deficiency
Most people become deficient in iron at one point or another. These conditions are usually corrected when we take in more iron from iron-rich food whether intentionally or unconsciously.However, in any case iron deficiency is not treated, severe complications develop:
- Iron deficiency called anemia can lead to increased or irregular heart rate. Your heart must pump more blood to compensate for the lack of oxygen a condition that can lead to an enlargement of the heart or even heart failure.
- Pregnant women who are deficient in iron may be more susceptible to premature delivery. This will be very dangerous for both mother and baby and so, an anemic condition during pregnancy is dealt with proactive supplementation.
- Infants that are deficient in iron are in danger of delayed growth and development. They are also high risk for infections.
There is really no reason to be deficient in iron. All it needs is an adjustment in your daily diet, the food you choose and the amount you need to consume. Here are the ten best sources of iron for your consideration.
Animal liver is one of the best sources of iron. It is also a provider of other valuable vitamins, minerals and protein. Beef liver is a good organ meat, providing 5 mg per serving. This already covers 25% of an adult female’s daily recommended value.Pork liver is even better because it is leaner with a higher iron and vitamin content for the same serving size.One setback for animal liver is that you can’t consume to many it being high in cholesterol. Pregnant women are advised against animal liver because of its high levels of vitamin A. Vitamin A has been associated with birth defects.
Chickpea legumes contain 5 mg. of iron per cup. With its generous dose of protein, chickpea is a very smart food choice to include in a vegetarian’s diet.Chickpeas are tasty additions to salads and pastas.
Oysters are far more than just a dinner date seafood appetizer; it is one of the best sources of iron that can deliver a lot of grams for its serving size.Oysters along with other mollusks like clams, mussels and squid are loaded with important nutrients like zinc and vitamin B12. A single oyster has 3 to 5 grams of iron. Now, imagine a whole plate of them. One plate alone can already cover your daily requirement.
Most consider a bowl of cereal as the most convenient breakfast meal routine. If you want to make the most of your breakfast bowl, choose the fortified cereal version of your favorite cereal brand.If you check the nutritional facts, you will see that most of these iron fortified cereals can already cover 90% of the daily recommended value.
- Soy Beans
A half cup of soy beans can already deliver 4 mg of iron. Aside from iron, soy beans will also provide you with other important minerals like copper, to keep your immune system healthy and, manganese which will support various chemical processes in your body.Soy beans are also high in protein for muscle building and fiber for internal cleansing and flushing.
- Pumpkin Seeds
If you like snacking then, pumpkin seeds is a good choice for enjoying the “munch” of a snack as well as in keeping a healthy dose of iron. A cup of kernels has 10 mg of iron making it very effective in meeting your iron daily recommended values.Pumpkin seeds taste great in muffin recipes or on top of salads.
All varieties of beans are good sources of iron. A cup of any variety can give anywhere from 3 to 7 mg of iron.It’s best to pair beans with kale, bell pepper, broccoli and cauliflower, vegetables that are high in vitamin C for better absorption of non-heme iron.
Whether spinach is eaten cooked or raw, it is an excellent source of iron. But, consider cooking it as cooked spinach is better absorbed by the body.A cup of spinach can give you 6 mg of iron. Aside from iron, spinach is also a good source of protein, fiber, calcium, vitamin A and Vitamin E.While the usual serving of spinach is not so popular with kids, frying them to a crispy crunch will do very well with a mayonnaise dip.
Lentils offer 6 mg of iron per cup.Lentils are also loaded with fiber that can help resolve the symptoms of high blood pressure. It will also help in reducing the possibility of kidney stones and in keeping regulated blood sugar levels.It is a very useful kitchen mainstay as tasty additions to soups, salads, burgers and chili.
- Sesame Seeds
It is highly recommended to eat sesame seeds not only for its delicious nutty taste but for its high iron content. A cup of sesame seeds can deliver 20 mg of iron.Other valuable nutrients found in sesame seeds are copper, phosphorous, vitamin E and zinc.
All the food items that were presented are the usual and common items in our diet. All of us are eating at least some of these foods on a weekly basis.
Now that you already have a list of iron filled foods, you only need to make sure you enjoy two to three of these treats a day to keep you healthy and full of energy.