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Wednesday 27 April 2016

Healthy Foods That Are Very High In Iron

Franziska Spritzler has a BSc in nutrition and dietetics. She is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator with expertise in carbohydrate-restricted diets for diabetes and weight management, she writes:

"Iron is a mineral that serves several important functions in the body.
Its main function is carrying oxygen throughout your body and making red blood cells.
Iron is an essential nutrient, meaning you must get it from food.
The recommended daily intake (RDI) is 18 mg.
Interestingly, the amount your body absorbs is partly based on how much you have stored.
A deficiency can occur if your intake is too low to replace the amount you lose every day.
Iron deficiency can cause anemia and lead to symptoms like fatigue. Menstruating women who don’t consume iron-rich foods are at particularly high risk of deficiency.

Here are 11 healthy foods that are high in iron:
1. Shellfish
Shellfish is tasty and nutritious. All shellfish is high in iron, but clams, oysters and mussels are particularly good sources.
Bottom Line: A 100-gram serving of clams provides 155% of the RDI for iron. Shellfish is also rich many other nutrients.

2. Spinach
Spinach provides many health benefits for very few calories

Bottom Line: Spinach provides 20% of the RDI for iron per serving, along with several vitamins and minerals. It also contains important antioxidants.

3. Liver and Other Organ Meats
Organ meats are extremely nutritious. Popular types include liver, kidneys, brain and heart. All of these are high in iron.
Bottom Line: Organ meats are good sources of iron, and liver contains 36% of the RDI per serving. Organ meats are also rich in many other nutrients.

4. Legumes
Legumes are loaded with nutrients
Some of the most common types of legumes are beans, lentils, chickpeas, peas and soybeans
Bottom Line: One cup of cooked lentils provides 37% of the RDI for iron. Legumes are also high in folate, magnesium, potassium and fiber.

5. Red Meat
Red meat is satisfying and nutritious. A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of ground beef contains 2.7 mg of iron, which is 15% of the RDI.
Meat is also rich in protein, zinc, selenium and several B-vitamins.
Bottom Line: One serving of ground beef contains 15% of the RDI for iron, and is one of the most easily accessible sources of heme iron. It’s also rich in B vitamins, zinc, selenium and high-quality protein.

6. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are a tasty, portable snack.
Bottom Line: Pumpkin seeds provide 26% of the RDI for iron per serving. They are also a good source of several other nutrients and an excellent source of magnesium.

7. Quinoa
Quinoa is a popular grain known as a pseudocereal. One cup (185 grams) of cooked quinoa provides 2.8 mg of iron, which is 15% of the RDI.
Bottom Line: Quinoa provides 15% of the RDI for iron per serving. It also contains no gluten and is high in protein, folate, minerals and antioxidants.

8. Turkey
Turkey meat is a healthy and delicious food. It’s also a good source of iron — especially dark turkey meat.

Bottom Line: Turkey provides 13% of the RDI for iron and is a good source of several vitamins and minerals. Its high protein content promotes fullness, increases metabolism and prevents muscle loss.

9. Broccoli
Broccoli is incredibly nutritious

Bottom Line: One serving of broccoli provides 6% of the RDI for iron and is very high in vitamins C, K and folate. It may also help reduce cancer risk.

10. Tofu
Tofu is a soy-based food that’s popular among vegetarians and in some Asian countries.
A half-cup (126-gram) serving provides 3.6 mg of iron, which is 19% of the RDI.
Bottom Line: Tofu provides 19% of the RDI for iron per serving and is rich in protein and minerals. The isoflavones in it may improve heart health and relieve menopausal symptoms.

11. Dark Chocolate
Dark Chocolate is incredibly delicious and nutritious.

A 1-ounce (28-gram) serving contains 3.3 mg of iron, which is 19% of the RDI

Bottom Line: A small serving of dark chocolate contains 19% of the RDI for iron, along with several minerals and prebiotic fiber that promotes gut health.

Iron is Incredibly Important:
Iron is an important mineral that must be consumed regularly.
Yet it should be noted that some people need to limit their intake of red meat and other foods high in heme iron.
However, most people are easily able to regulate the amount they absorb from food.
Remember that if you don’t eat meat or fish, you can boost absorption by including a source of vitamin C when eating plant sources of iron."

Franziska's full article with all information / research links is here

We try and bring a variety of articles, studies etc. plus recent news/views and recipe ideas to this blog, we hope something for everyone to read and enjoy.

Please note, not all may be suitable for you.

If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan


Jo said...

I eat quite a few of these iron rich foods. One thing to remember is that if you're drinking tea or wine with your meal, it can hinder the absorption of iron.

eileeninmd said...

Hello, I see some of my favorites on this list. The shellfish and spinach are a few and dark chocolate is great too. Enjoy your day and week ahead!

Linda Kay said...

If I could just eat the dark chocolate and not the veggies! Oh well, such is life.

handmade by amalia said...

I'm channeling my inner popeye.

Sara - Villa Emilia said...

Thank you for this interesting and important post!
I try to avoid shellfish, but I love broccoli and dark chocolate! :)
All the best

Phil Slade said...

All good advice Jan. As usual there may be a conflict with other bodily needs. I occasionally suffer from gout so should avoid liver and offal and shellfish and too much meat. Let's go for the healthy balanced diet with as much variation as possible?

Bob Bushell said...

My son tells me that I should be more aware of iron, and he is getting me lots of it, and for cooking he does it Great thing, cheers Callum.

DeniseinVA said...

Great guidelines. Thanks Jan :)

Crafty Green Poet said...

legumes, spinach and dark chocolate, excellent!

Kezzie said...

This is really interesting to know!!! I was worrying whether I was getting enough iron or not! I eat lots of veg so I will make sure I buy broccoli and spinach continually!!x

Amy at Ms. Toody Goo Shoes said...

Well, it's good that I happen to like almost everything on this list! Really good reminder on the importance of iron!

Debbie said...

no tofu or liver and i'm actually pretty good here, especially with the chocolate ;)

this is a great guide, variety and balance are key!!!

Snowbird said...

Some fascinating facts here. I just love broccoli and

happyone said...

I love the green veggies!
AND who wouldn't want to add dark chocolate to their diet. : )

Lisa said...

I wish I liked more green veggies but I have put spinach into a couple of smoothies and there really is no way you can taste it once a banana goes in too, an easy way to get lots of goodness.
Lisa x