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Simple Iron-Rich food for a super-healthy Life!

Mar 11, 2019

Simple Iron-Rich food for a super-healthy Life!
Simple Iron-Rich food for a super-healthy Life! | Photography: Huffingtonpost

Have been exhausted even though you are physically fit? You might be having an iron deficiency especially if you are a woman. Many people are ignorant of this with iron being an easily available nutrient, howbeit, you will be surprised to know that low iron is the most common nutritional deficiency.

Why is iron so important to your body? What happens if there is low iron content in your body?

Iron helps to carry oxygen throughout your body and aids in making red blood cells. Hemoglobin makes about two-thirds of the body's iron content. If you are deficient with iron, then your body can't carry enough red blood cells and the lack of red blood cells is known as iron deficiency anemia.

Iron is a nutrient which is necessary to maintain healthy cells, nails, hair and skin. 

It is a non-heme iron source which is also rich in vitamin C.
It is a non-heme iron source which is also rich in vitamin C.

How much iron do you need?

The iron requirement depends on your age, gender, and overall health. Infants and toddlers need more iron than adults, children between the ages 4 to 8 need 10 milligrams, 8 mg is needed for children from ages 9 to 13. Women need about 18mg from ages 19 to 50 while men of the same age need only about 8 mg.

How do you get the much-needed iron?                     

The solution to having healthy iron content in your body is to consume food which has high iron content. There are two different types of iron that your body can get from food: Heme and Non-heme. Heme is the kind of iron that is found in animal products and non-heme is found in plant products.

Below are listed a few delicious food items that are high in iron:          

Shellfish

Shellfish are tasty and nutritious. They shellfish including clams, oysters, mussels, prawns and crabs are heme iron which is easily absorbed by the body more easily. All kinds of shellfish are also shown to increase healthy cholesterol in your blood.

Spinach

Spinach can be consumed in various forms. It is a non-heme iron source which is also rich in vitamin C. Its high antioxidants content reduces the risk of cancer and reduces inflammation.

Legumes

Legumes are loaded with nutrients including iron, folate, magnesium and potassium. It also helps to reduce inflammation, and can also decrease the risk of heart disease. They have a high content of soluble fiber and is effective for weight loss. 

They have a high content of soluble fiber and is effective for weight loss.
They have a high content of soluble fiber and is effective for weight loss.

Quinoa

Quinoa is a pseudo-cereal which contains high iron, protein, folate, copper, manganese, magnesium, and many other nutrients. It is also rich in antioxidants and can protect your cells from radical damage.

Dark Chocolate

This one of the most delicious and nutritious foods. Small servings of dark chocolate contain iron, copper and magnesium along with prebiotic fiber. It is also rich in antioxidants and is beneficial to reduce blood cholesterol levels.

Here is an additional list of heme and no-heme food items which are tasty to eat and highly nutritious.

Heme Iron Foods

  • Liver
  • Oysters, clams and mussels
  • Red meats such as beef and lamb
  • Canned sardines
  • Chicken and turkey
  • Pork and ham
  • Veal
  • Fish

Non-heme Iron Foods

  • Iron-fortified breakfast cereals, rice, breads, and pastas
  • Cooked beans and lentils
  • Tofu
  • Pumpkins, squash or sesame seeds
  • Chickpeas, kidney beans and lima beans
  • Dried apricots
  • Baked potatoes
  • Nuts
  • Raw and cooked spinach and kale
  • Peas

It is always advised to consume food rich in Vitamin C, to help body extract the most amount of iron, some food which are rich in vitamin C are:

  • Oranges
  • Lemons
  • Broccoli
  • Leafy greens
  •  Melon
  • Kiwi
  • Peppers
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes

Including the above listed food items in your everyday diet will help you maintain the required levels of iron, making you healthy and fit. Iron rich food is known to promote healthy pregnancy, high energy levels, better performance in athletics and many other great things. More importantly the red blood cells carry oxygen throughout your body to keep you healthy.