Iron is very important for our body as it lives in every traces of our body. Iron rich foods helps to make hemoglobin and myoglobin which are essential for the body. Hemoglobin helps red blood cells to carry oxygen in the body. Myoglobin helps muscle cells to hold oxygen. Lower iron level leads to various health issues which include shortening breathe, anemia, dizziness, headache and more. Globally Iron deficiency ranked at number 9 among 28 health issues. According to WHO (World health organization) globally, more than 50% population is suffering from iron deficiency and anemia. Heme and Nonheme are the two forms of Iron. Animal products are the only source of heme iron and plants provide non-heme iron.
How Our Body Use Iron?
Iron is required for various complex processes of the body that occur on the molecular level and essential for human body. This mineral is essential for the production of the red blood cells and these blood cells transport oxygen to the body from lungs and take the carbon dioxide to the lungs. Foods rich in iron absorbed in your body through the small intestine. You can take iron from heme and nonheme forms for the healthy body. Meat, poultry, and fish are rich in iron. Spinach, vegetables, beetroot, and cereals are the good source of nonheme iron.
How Much Iron do we need Daily?
The daily iron requirement of body is tangible according to age, gender and more. One should take enough iron in a natural way to prevent various health risks.
|Birth to 6 months||0.27 mg*||0.27 mg*|
|7–12 months||11 mg||11 mg|
|1–3 years||7 mg||7 mg|
|4–8 years||10 mg||10 mg|
|9–13 years||8 mg||8 mg|
|14–18 years||11 mg||15 mg||27 mg||10 mg|
|19–50 years||8 mg||18 mg||27 mg||9 mg|
|51+ years||8 mg||8 mg|
What are the various Iron Rich Foods?
- Dry Fruits
- Meat and Seafood
- Grains and Seeds
- Other sources of iron
Iron Rich Vegetables
Green Leafy Vegetables
Spinach, Kale, and Swiss chard are rich in iron. These dark green leafy vegetables are rich in various vitamins and minerals. Vitamin A, C, and k in these vegetable leaves help to improve eyesight, bone health, and hemoglobin. 40-gram spinach contains .9 milligram iron and 50-gram swiss chard has .8 milligrams of iron.
Another iron-rich vegetable is Broccoli and 80-gram broccoli has .7 milligram iron. Broccoli has vitamin C and other minerals which are essential for the healthy body and glowing skin. One can eat broccoli in the salad to treat iron deficiency.
How to Include Green Leafy Vegetables and Broccoli in Your Diet
Spinach, Broccoli, kale and swiss chard can be eaten as the salad. You can cook spinach with cheese or sweet corns. Broccoli can be added to Vegetable rice to get more nutritions. According to researchers chopped or frozen spinach has less amount of iron so try to eat it in raw form. These vegetables help to treat headache, paleness, food cravings and blemishes.
Mushrooms are rich in iron and help to treat iron deficiencies. One cup of mushroom has 2.5 milligrams of iron which fulfill the 20% of daily iron intake. Iron in mushrooms helps to fight common problems like nausea, headache, and fatigue. Each type of mushroom has a different amount of iron like an oyster mushroom has more iron content than other mushroom types. Mushroom helps to prevent cancer and are rich in antioxidants. It helps to flush out toxins from the body, improve digestive system and build red blood cells.
Potatoes are the great source of iron and vitamin C. One medium-size potato contains 2.3 mg iron and helps to control blood pressure. Potatoes are loaded with anti-inflammatory properties, boost immunity and low in sodium. You can include boiled or roasted potatoes in your daily diet to fulfill iron intake.
Fruits Rich in Iron
Mulberries are loaded with various health benefits. 150-gram mulberries have 2.8 mg iron which fulfills 35% of our daily iron requirement. Mulberries help to maintain the healthy weight and boost immunity. This tasty fruit has a good amount of fiber, nutrition, maintain blood sugar level, and cancer-fighting cells. You can add mulberries to your fruit salad or make breakfast smoothies with mulberries. This fruit can be consumed raw to get more benefits.
Olives are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and good for bone health. 150-gram olives contain 5 mg iron and help to fight iron deficiencies and fight bad cholesterol. These fruits help to lose weight, fight against cancer, remove heart risk, build stronger bones. You can add olives to your salad or consume extra virgin olive oil.
This fruit is famous as the fruit of the gods and loved by Japanese. Persimmons are Japan’s national fruit and this orange colored fruit resembles as tomatoes. These fruits are loaded with antioxidants, vitamin C, iron and other nutritional contents. Eating Persimmons daily fulfill your bodies iron requirement.
Many doctors and physicians recommended Pomegranate to treat iron or anemia problems. Pomegranate helps to increase fertility, helps blood vessels, lower down heart attack risks and build red blood cells. This iron-rich fruit helps to fight depression.
Eating one pomegranate daily eliminate blood-related illness in men and women.
Watermelons are 90 percent water and help to cool down our bodies in summers. This fruit is rich in iron and nutrients. Vitamin C in watermelon gives you smooth and glowing skin. Iron from watermelon is efficiently absorbed by our bodies. Eating watermelon in summer helps to keep your body hydrated and fulfill the daily iron requirement.
Dry Fruits Rich in Iron
Besides being rich in antioxidants dates are a great source of iron. Dates have natural healing powers and good for skin. These dark brown fruits are loaded with various vitamins, minerals, and protein. The iron content of dates is very high. It helps to purify blood and treat iron deficiencies. Dates are available in the market during winter. You can eat 5-6 dates daily for better health.
Raisins are one of the greatest sources of iron. One hundred gram raisin contains 2 mg iron content. Dried grapes are commonly known as raisins. Raisins are packed with Vitamin B complex, potassium and carbohydrates. Vitamin B complex is responsible for the formation of new blood in human body.
Dried Apricots are the good source of iron and dietary fiber. Soluble fat in apricots helps to reduce cholesterol level in the body and maintain the healthy weight. We receive non-heme iron from apricots which are not easy to absorb. To get benefits of dried apricots we need to take them with vitamin C and heme iron.
Sun Dried Tomatoes
Sun-dried tomatoes have the highest amount of iron. Per one hundred gram sun-dried tomatoes have 9 mg of iron. Vegetables are generally not a good source of iron but dehydrated vegetables contain more iron. Sun-dried tomatoes are rich in Vitamin C and give you radiant skin.
Iron in Meat and Seafood
Iron in Fish
Sardine fish has the highest amount of iron among all the fishes. 150 gram of Sardine fish contains 4.7 milligrams of iron which fulfill 30% of our daily requirement. Not only iron sardine fish is rich in omega 3 fatty acids which is good to lower down bad cholesterol. Sardine fish improves eyesight, prevent heart attacks, gives you luxurious hair and glowing skin. You can take canned sardine as your dinner or evening snack for good health.
Organ meat and other meats for Iron
Organ meat includes beef, chicken liver, turkey, and mutton. Meats are rich in iron and 30-gram chicken liver contain 3.3-milligram iron. Meats are complete proteins that clearly indicates that meats have all essential amino acids, zinc, and nutrients. You can eat chicken curry cooked in less oil in your dinner and lunch.
Iron Content in Eggs
Eggs are the most nutritious food on the earth and one egg contain 1-milligram iron. They protect our heart and raise good cholesterol level. Eggs are beneficial for hair, skin, liver, and small intestine. You can eat two boiled eggs daily to get enough iron. Egg white helps to lose weight.
Iron in Grains, Legumes, and Seeds
Iron Content in Whole Grains
Quinoa, whole wheat, oats and Amaranth grains top the list of iron-rich grains. These grains helps to maintain normal body weight, fight obesity and reduce heart disease risk. You can eat multigrain flour to fulfill the daily iron requirement of the body. Brown rice comes under this category, replace your regular rice with brown rice to get more nutrition and fiber.
Iron Rich Legumes
Soy Beans, lentils, chickpeas, and beans are rich in iron. One cup of lentils contains 7 mg iron. Studies have proven that legumes reduce inflammation and good for diabetes. Lentils help to reduce weight and soybean is essential for bone health. You can eat roasted soybean for muscle building and roasted chana for weight loss.
Nuts and Seeds
Almonds, cashew, pine, and pistachios are power nuts which contain a high amount of iron. Pumpkin, sesame, flax seeds and sunflower seeds are rich in iron and other essential minerals and vitamins. Two tablespoons of these seeds contain 4 mg iron. These seeds and nuts are a great source of protein, fiber, Vitamin A, C and E. Eating 5 Almonds, cashews, pine daily help to lose weight, sharpen memory and gives you lean muscles.
Other Foods with High Amount of Iron
Dark Chocolates are rich in iron, 100-gram dark chocolate bar contain 12 mg iron. These chocolates are a good source of protein, antioxidants, and helps to fight cancer cells. Having one bar of dark chocolate daily fulfill your daily iron requirement and it helps to shed extra kilos. Flavanols in dark chocolates protect our heart from diseases.
Tofu is known as bean curd. Including tofu in your diet helps to get enough iron and lower down bad cholesterol. 100-gram tofu contains 3 mg iron and fiber. Tofu is very good for bone health and muscle building.
Health Benefits of Iron on Our Body
- Iron is essential to building red blood cells and proper functioning of the body.
- It helps to boost energy and it helps to produce more blood cells which carry oxygen to our body and brain.
- Iron helps to store oxygen in muscles which leads to better muscle functioning and stronger muscles.
- It is essential for pregnant women. Iron deficiency causes low birth weight and premature delivery.
- Iron plays a vital role to enhance brain health by the proper supply of oxygen.
- Restless legs syndrome can be treated by iron.
- Iron helps to give you blemish free skin. Iron deficiencies cause blemishes.
- It helps to soothe menstruation pain.