Iron is one of the greatest significant elements in our body. In fact, iron is what lets us live. Every living human being needs iron so that the RBCs (Red blood cells) function properly. Now, some require iron more than others, especially women. According to some studies, besides children, women are more prone to develop iron deficiency. Women from 19 to 49 require about 18 mg of iron on a regular basis. Iron is a vital mineral for our body, no doubt. Thankfully, we can get most of our iron from our daily diet. All we have to do is include a couple of items that are known to have a high amount of iron.
Foods High in Iron
There are plenty of options to choose from. Here’s a shortlist of the simplest foods that include sufficient iron.
Dark Green Vegetables: In this category, spinach and Swiss chard go to the top position. They are noticeable for their bold colors in leaves. Besides iron, they also contain a good quantity of vitamin A, C, and K. One cup (30g) of spinach contain about 0.8 mg of iron. In the case of swiss chard, the amount is about 0.6 mg per cup. Broccoli is another good source for iron. One cup (91 g) of broccoli offers up to 0.7 mg of iron. Broccoli also offers a high amount of vitamin C. Together, these veggies should meet about 5% of your daily iron needs.
Shellfish: This category includes oysters and clams. It’s a good source for various minerals, especially, iron. One cup (248 g) of oysters can offer you 16.5 mg of iron! That’s more than 90% of your regular iron needs. One cup (227 g) of clams will offer, even more, 31.7 mg of iron! That’s more than 170% of your regular iron needs. In addition, shellfishes are high in omega-3 fats, also known as “good fats” that help your heart and brain.
Salmon: Salmon is one of the common sources for omega-3 fats. Omega-3 fatty acids are important for everyone, especially for women in pregnancy and women with infertility as it increases the blood flow. It can reduce the chance of premature childbirth and effectively increase the time of pregnancy. That is why salmon should be an important part of your regular diet. Per 100 gram of salmon, you can get 0.3 mg of iron. Added with the amount of omega-3 fats, it’s a great fish to eat.
Dark Chocolate: Chocolate is known for a lot of things. However, dark chocolate has a good reputation for being the healthiest choice. A small portion of dark chocolate contains as much as 19% of the ingredient for iron. It also includes other ingredients like several minerals and prebiotic fiber that improve gut health.
Whole Grains: This category includes foods like spelled (18% DV), oats (19% DV), amaranth (29% DV) and Quinoa (16% DV). That’s the amount you can get per medium bowl serving. Unlike other carb-rich foods, these whole grains can offer increased longevity and reduce the chance of obesity and heart disease.
Meat: Meat is one of the well-known complete proteins. Complete protein offers all the essential amino acids our body needs. In addition, it is rich in various nutrients like zinc and iron.
Nuts and Seeds: The list of iron-rich nuts include almonds, cashews, as well as pine nuts. All of them offer about 1.5 mg of iron per ounce. Besides iron, you are also getting enough fiber, magnesium, zinc, and protein. All of these nutrients allow the body to function the way it’s meant to. They also work in improving conditions like cardiovascular activity and brain health.
How to Get More Iron From Your Food
Some foods promote iron absorption, some hinder the process. If you are interested in improving iron absorption, avoid taking tea, wine, coffee, and other calcium-rich foods along with meals having iron. Iron-rich foods taken with a decent source of vitamin C also aids better absorption. My personal preference is taking orange juice (hand-made), Kiwi fruit, capsicum, berries or tomatoes along with these iron-rich foods to absorb more iron. You can add that food raw to your diet. If you are a vegan or vegetarian, you should take extra care with your regular diet to obtain enough iron.
In a Nutshell
Many women are unaware that they are anemic and requires enough iron intake from their diets. Since women go through a menstrual period every month, they need to replenish the amount of iron in their body. The suggested foods, if taken regularly, should help a lot in the long term. Make sure that you are eating the right food in the right amount and you like eating it. If you have iron deficiency, including these foods in your diet should definitely help. However, see your doctor for your regular check-up. I do hope you like this article. Feel free to share your thoughts or read other articles by clicking here