Iron is a mineral that helps your body do a lot of different things, but its primary role is to transport oxygen through your blood.
Iron provides 18 mg of DV (Daily Value). If your daily loss exceeds your intake, you may develop a deficit.
It’s interesting to note that your body’s ability to absorb iron depends in part on how much iron you already have stored.
Anaemia, which can be caused by a lack of iron, can manifest with symptoms including weariness. Non-consumers of iron-rich foods, such as women who are menstruating, are at an increased risk of anemia.
Included below are 10 examples of iron-rich meals that are also good for you.
Delicious and healthy, shellfish is a great option. Though all shellfish are a healthy choice, clams, oysters, and mussels are especially rich in iron.
For example, a 100-gram (3.5-ounce) serving of clams can provide 17% of the DV in iron.
However, clams can vary greatly in their iron concentration; some varieties may have significantly less iron than others.
Heme iron, such as that found in shellfish, is more readily absorbed by the body than the non-heme iron found in vegetables.
You can get 26 grams of protein, 24 percent of your daily value for vitamin C, and an incredible 4,125 percent of your DV for vitamin B12 from just one 3.5-ounce meal of clams.
In fact, studies have shown that eating shellfish can raise your good HDL cholesterol and improve your overall health.
Despite genuine worries about mercury and toxins in some fish and shellfish, the benefits of eating seafood significantly outweigh the risks.
The iron content of a single serving of clams, which is about 3.5 ounces (100 grams), is 17% of the DV. Many other nutrients, including the “good” HDL cholesterol, may be boosted by eating shellfish.
Spinach’s low-calorie count and high health benefits make it a popular food choice.
Only about 2.7 milligrams of iron (15 percent of the DV) can be found in about 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of raw spinach.
Spinach has a high vitamin C content and is a good source of non-heme iron, but this form of iron is poorly absorbed. Vitamin C greatly improves iron absorption, therefore this is crucial information to have.
Carotenoids, the antioxidants found in spinach in high concentrations, have been linked to a reduced risk of cancer, reduced inflammation, and protection of the eyes from disease.
Eat a healthy fat like olive oil with your spinach to help your body absorb the carotenoids, which are responsible for the green color.
Per serving, spinach is an excellent source of iron (15% of the DV), in addition to many other vitamins and minerals. Further, it’s an excellent source of antioxidants.
3. Liver and other organ meats
The nutritional value of organ meats is high. Iron-rich liver, kidney, brain, and heart are popular options.
One serving of beef liver (around 100 grams) provides 36% of the daily value for iron with 6.5 mg.
In addition to being high in protein, organ meats are a good source of B vitamins, copper, and selenium.
Vitamin A content in the liver is exceptionally high, with a 3.5-ounce serving giving 1,049% of the daily value.
And many people don’t get enough of the nutrient choline, which is essential for brain and liver health but often lacking in the diets of many people.
The iron content in the liver is very high, with 36% of the daily value per ounce. Many additional minerals, such as selenium, vitamin A, and choline, are abundant in organ meats as well.
Protein, fiber, and other essential nutrients can all be found in legumes.
Beans, lentils, chickpeas, peas, and soybeans are all examples of legumes.
Because of the high concentration of iron in them, they are an excellent choice for vegetarians. The 6.6 mg found in one cup (198 grams) of cooked lentils accounts for 37% of the daily requirement.
Black beans, navy beans, and kidney beans are all excellent options for adding iron to your diet.
In fact, 10% of the Daily Value (DV) for iron may be found in just a half cup (86 grams) portion of cooked black beans.
Besides folate, magnesium, and potassium, legumes are a healthy food choice.
Also, research shows that eating beans and other legumes can help diabetics lower their inflammation levels. People who have metabolic syndrome and eat legumes have a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
In addition, some studies suggest that eating beans can aid in weight loss. They have a lot of soluble fiber, which makes you feel full with fewer calories.
Beans are part of a high-fiber diet that has been demonstrated to be as beneficial as a low-carb diet for weight loss in one research.
Consuming beans alongside vitamin C-rich meals like tomatoes, greens, or citrus fruits will increase iron absorption.
Cooked lentils offer 37% of the Daily Value of iron in just one cup (198 grams). Besides being rich in folate, magnesium, potassium, and fiber, legumes may also help you shed extra pounds.
5. Red meat
Eating red meat can fill you up and provide essential nutrients.
2.7 milligrams of iron (15 percent of the daily value) can be found in a serving of ground beef that weighs 3.5 ounces (100 grams).
Meat is an excellent source of protein, as well as zinc, selenium, and a number of B vitamins.
Meat, poultry, and fish eaters may have a lower risk of iron deficiency, according to the findings of several studies.
Anemic persons may benefit from eating red meat because it contains heme iron, the kind of iron that the body uses best.
Women who ate more meat retained more iron than those who took iron supplements following aerobic activity, according to research.
As one of the most readily available sources of heme iron, a single serving of ground beef provides 15% of the daily requirement. Vitamin B, zinc, selenium, and high-quality protein are also present in abundance.
6. Pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds are a convenient and delightful on-the-go food.
The 2.5 milligrams of iron in a 28-gram serving of pumpkin seeds is equivalent to 14% of the DV.
Moreover, pumpkin seeds are rich in the minerals zinc and manganese. Many people have low magnesium levels, and they are one of the finest sources of this mineral.
Magnesium helps lower insulin resistance, diabetes, and depression risk, and just one ounce (28 grams) provides 40% of the daily value.
A single ounce of pumpkin seeds contains 14% of the daily value of iron. In addition to being rich in magnesium, they contain a variety of other beneficial elements.
As a pseudocereal, quinoa has gained popularity as a popular grain. Among the many health benefits of quinoa is its high iron content; only one cup (185 grams) delivers 2.8 milligrams or 16% of the DV.
In addition, those with celiac disease or other kinds of gluten intolerance can safely consume quinoa because it contains no gluten.
Protein-wise, quinoa is superior to many other grains; it is also a good source of magnesium, copper, manganese, and many other essential elements.
More antioxidants are produced by quinoa than by most other cereals. During metabolism and in response to stress, your body produces free radicals, which can cause harm to your cells if left unchecked.
Per serving, quinoa contains 16% of the daily value of iron. It is a good source of protein, folate, minerals, and antioxidants and has no gluten.
Turkey is a great source of protein and tastes great too. Especially the dark flesh, turkey is a good source of iron.
The iron content of a serving of dark turkey flesh (100 grams) is 1.4 milligrams, which is 8% of the daily value.
The same quantity of white turkey meat has only 0.7 mg.
Along with an outstanding 28 grams of protein per serving, dark turkey meat also contains many B vitamins and minerals, such as 32% of the DV for zinc and 57% of the DV for selenium.
Protein helps you feel full and boosts your metabolism after eating, which may make losing weight easier when combined with eating high-protein meals like turkey.
When you’re trying to lose weight or slow down the effects of aging, a high-protein diet can be an important tool in protecting your muscle mass.
To name just one example, turkey is an excellent source of iron (13% of the DV) as well as several other vitamins and minerals. Because of the significant amount of protein it contains, eating it makes you feel full, speeds up your metabolism, and helps you keep your muscle mass.
Broccoli is ninth on the list of most nutritious vegetables. One cup (156 grams) of cooked broccoli contains 1 mg of iron or 6% of the DV.
Broccoli contains 112% of the Daily Value (DV) for vitamin C, which enhances the absorption of iron in the body.
Also, the same portion size delivers a good amount of vitamin K and fiber (5 grams per serving) in addition to being rich in folate. Cruciferous vegetables, of which broccoli is one, also include cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, and cabbage.
In India, sulforaphane, and glucosinolates are plant chemicals found in cruciferous vegetables that have been linked to cancer protection.
The iron, vitamin C, and folate content of broccoli is very high (6 percent DV per serving). The possibility of a reduced risk of cancer is another potential benefit.
10. Dark Chocolate
The health benefits and wonderful flavor of dark chocolate are undeniable.
There are 3.4 milligrams of iron in a single ounce (28 grams), which is 19% of the daily value.
Copper and magnesium, both essential nutrients, are present in adequate amounts (56% and 15% of the DV, respectively) in this modest dose.
Also, it has prebiotic fiber, which helps your gut’s beneficial bacteria thrive.
Cocoa powder and dark chocolate were shown to have higher levels of antioxidant activity than acai berry powder and blueberry juice, according to the study.
As an added bonus, chocolate has been demonstrated to lower cholesterol and so minimize the likelihood of cardiovascular problems including heart attacks and strokes.
It’s important to note that not all chocolate is the same. Flavanols, a class of chemicals, are thought to be responsible for chocolate’s health advantages, and dark chocolate has a significantly higher flavanol content than milk chocolate.
Therefore, eating chocolate with at least 70% cocoa content is recommended.
In conclusion, a serving of dark chocolate has 19% of the Daily Value (DV) for iron, in addition to other minerals and prebiotic fiber that aids in digestive function.