Iron is an essential mineral that plays a crucial role in helping your body maintain healthy blood and oxygen levels. Without iron, your body can’t perform many functions. Luckily, you don’t need to go through a lot of trouble to get enough iron in your diet.
Iron-rich foods such as meat, eggs, and green leafy vegetables are easy to include in your daily routine. Here’s what are some foods that are high in iron that help you get the most from your plant-based diet.
- How Your Body Uses Iron in Food
- Why You Need Iron in Your Diet
- Types Of Iron
- What Are Some Foods That Are High In Iron
- FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
How Your Body Uses Iron in Food
Iron is an essential mineral that we need to function. We get our body’s iron from food and beverages, and we can also get it from supplements. However, we should know how much iron we consume in food and drink because too much can be toxic.
Also, we need to know how much iron we absorb from our food and feel comfortable with the amount. One hundred percent of an average adult’s daily recommended intake of 33 milligrams can be absorbed through diet alone.
You may ask: Why do I need so much iron in my body? Iron is essential for carrying out more than 1,000 enzymatic reactions within each cell in your body (when all these substances work together with energy provided by the food we eat).
These enzymatic reactions give your body energy and help produce new cells. You need to get iron from food or with a supplement, but only small amounts of it: most of what you consume in foods is already stored within your tissues so that if necessary, more can be released when you need it.
Why You Need Iron in Your Diet
The biggest reason you need this mineral is to produce hemoglobin, which helps carry oxygen around your body. You also get iron from food or supplements because it’s an essential component of new blood cells that help move oxygen through organs and tissues.
So without getting enough dietary iron in your diet, your immune system can suffer — making you susceptible to infections like malaria, sickle-cell disease, and HIV/AIDS. And if you’re anemic, your body does not produce enough red blood cells or hemoglobin to carry oxygen around the body’s tissues properly. Too little iron might also have effects on our brains, so don’t forget about that too!
Types Of Iron
There are two main types of iron. Heme iron is found in the exterior portion of the molecule, while non-heme (less critical) heme would be located within a protein.
Foods rich in vitamin C and supplements make up for hemoglobin absorption since this reduces your need to absorb any other means.
In contrast, zinc plays an essential role in improving serum selenium levels necessary for proper use. Your body does not absorb the mineral as well as you need it.
What Are Some Foods That Are High In Iron
Iron is a mineral that is essential for life. It helps carry oxygen around the body, helps maintain a healthy immune system, and helps blood cells transport oxygen to your organs. Iron deficiency is a common problem in adults and can lead to anemia, fatigue, and poor quality of life. Fortunately, there are plenty of foods high in iron that you can enjoy daily. Here’s our list of 10 healthy foods that are excellent sources of iron.
1. Fortified Breakfast Cereals
The easiest way to get your daily iron is by having a whole-grain breakfast cereal. Indeed, cereals sometimes have only trace amounts of added iron, but you can still enjoy a healthy bowl of cereal at any time! But what about getting even more? Fortified foods, like cereals, are then fortified with extra vitamins and minerals. This means that your cereal will already have added vitamin C, but it can also sometimes be fortified with iron!
2. Beef (Skirt Steak)
Beef contains an impressive 2.8 mg of iron per serving, more than most vegetables! This is one of the best sources of non-heme iron so try topping off your bowl with some soy sauce or stewed veggies, and you’ll be covered across the board for minerals like iron.
Restaurant quality or steak can be a little pricey, but there are lots of great cuts of meat you buy at the supermarket that will provide plenty of iron as well as calories and protein to enjoy! For example, grass-fed beef is an excellent source!
3. White Beans
It might seem obvious, but beans are a source of iron, so enjoy them in some variety! White beans belong to a family called legumes and can be eaten whole or even grounded for use as flour.
4. Dried Fruit (Apricots)
Apricots are delicious dried fruit high in iron, but some people can react to them. Apricot kernels are safe for most people, but if you do respond, don’t worry. It’s not dangerous!
For example, apricot slices might be safe to eat, but apricot kernels can cause an itchy tongue.
5. Organ Meats
Organ meats like liver and kidney can also contain a lot of iron depending on the cut they were cooked from, especially if you’re using them as part of a traditional homemade broth! A cup (250ml) of chicken or pork soup contains 8 .4 mg of iron.
Lastly, scallops are high in iron and can be eaten raw, smoked, or cooked, depending on your preference! An 8oz (225ml) serving contains 8.6 mg of iron per 100gms – however, you would need to eat nearly 24 scallops to reach the recommended amount of 40mg.
Like lettuce, spinach is a dark leafy green plant. It’s packed with iron and vitamin C, which means it’s delicious all on its own or can go nicely in stirfries! The problem for many people might be the cooking process of spinach – but don’t fret. Other methods don’t involve it being cooked for iron or vitamin C. For example, use an egg-like glue to hold the spinach in place while putting salt and sugar on top of it – leave overnight (morning). Use this same method with parsley!
Mung beans are a rich source of iron, and many traditional cultures have been adding them to their diets for hundreds if not thousands of years!
Be sure that you eat your lentils in a way that retains the nutrients. For example, instead of throwing away the residue from cooking it into a soup, add the lentil to a blender and then fry it up with some vegetables you like. Another idea is adding chop them in your omelet (or fried rice if you want). If anything, throw away any saturated oil they were cooked in.
It’s not your typical grain! Australia grows the best of all, but it tastes good too – don’t let the quinoa appearance put you off, trust us! It’s also neutral in taste, so it will go well with whatever seasonings or sauces you decide to use. Quinoa solves all your problems when it comes to cooking.
For example, that boring old brown rice – throw some quinoa in the pan with a bit of chicken stock, and you have instant sushi! It’s got so much more nutrition, is loaded with protein, can also help reduce cravings for fatty foods, and the iron content is healthier than a lot of other grains.
Most people know about tofu and its use as a meat substitute, but do you know the benefits of using it in your recipes just for itself? Most folks have no idea that there is red algae present inside of this vegetable. Being loaded with calcium makes it very beneficial for building bones and reducing osteoporosis.
10. White Button Mushrooms
The white button mushroom has a higher phosphorous content than all other mushrooms combined. You only need to eat one cup of it daily for your body to absorb the 50% weight you used on carbohydrates from dairy foods alone!
Its high fiber content also helps make things difficult to digest for various reasons. Many studies have proven the wonder food capability of mushrooms, and instead, it is raw or sauteed! – get them straight from your local grocery store and start eating all kinds of mushrooms.
These ten foods are high in iron, and they can help boost your mood and provide substantial amounts for feeling good about yourself when suffering from low energy levels. The best part is…they are all delicious!
Iron is a mineral that plays an important role in the body, and it can be found in many foods. Some of these foods are white button mushrooms, tofu, quinoa, and spinach. These 10 high iron food items have been proven to help boost your mood when you’re feeling low.
Iron plays a role in making red blood cells, but what many people may not know is that it also helps build muscle tissue, aids in energy production throughout the body, and can aid others who are anemic. Some of the iron sources include protein, beans or lentils, and whole grains.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
How much should I eat to get enough iron?
The recommended daily amount of iron is 19 milligrams. This way, it will be easy to see your activity levels and compare them with the national average for endurance athletes (20mg).
Which food is the best source of iron?
Protein-rich foods such as beef, chicken, and fish usually have more iron than non-meat sources. Bread, cereals, and beans also contain significant amounts of iron. Quinoa is a nutritionally dense grain that has been linked to disease prevention.
What are some ideas for cheap, iron wealthy meals?
Any type of meat or fish can be beneficial. Tranches de porc are a tasty alternative to other meats, as they contain iron-fortified salt.
What are the best iron foods for a pregnant woman?
Iron deficiency in babies and pregnant women has been previously linked to many health problems, including anemia. It can also affect the iron levels in breast milk from nursing mothers.