Top 10 foods rich in iron
Iron-rich foods should be on the daily menu. Iron is an essential mineral for the proper functioning of the body and for maintaining long-term health. It is indispensable in the transport of oxygen in the body, as well as in cellular respiration.
Iron is an important element in the uptake and transport of oxygen.
Iron is a basic component of hemoglobin, 65% of the total iron that reaches the body is used to create red blood cells, which are essential in transporting oxygen from the lungs to other organs, cells and tissues. Iron is also part of the structure of myoglobin, a protein found in muscle and is an essential part of various liver enzymes. Iron is an essential mineral for our health. It is the key element inside hemoglobin - a substance that makes up the red blood cells. The role of the latter is to transport oxygen and carbon dioxide.
Iron is present in the body in two forms, so its absorption is different:
- Heminic (70%) – found in animal proteins: poultry liver, lean beef, pork offal, shells, oysters. This type of iron is absorbed 2-3 times faster and easier than iron from plant sources;
- Nonheminic (30%) – found in vegetable sources: lentils, chickpeas, broccoli, beans; dates and dried apricots; spinach. Iron absorption is favored by vitamin C.
⚠ The recommended daily dose of iron is 15 mg for women and 10 mg for men.
Only 15% of the amount of iron ingested is absorbed into the body, the rest being eliminated, so the daily intake of iron from the diet becomes essential.
Iron deficiency can be caused by:
- insufficient iron intake in the diet;
- blood loss;
- poor iron absorption due to gastric or intestinal problems.
Top 10 foods rich in iron
Iron concentration: up to 30 mg / 100 g.
Liver is one of the most important foods that contain iron, especially from goose, duck, pork, beef and chicken.
The amount of iron differs depending on the origin of the liver:
- goose liver: 30 mg / 100g;
- pork liver: 22,1 mg / 100g;
- veal liver: 7,9 mg / 100g;
The liver is also a very good source of iron, protein, vitamin A, vitamin B12, riboflavin and folate.
2. Wheat germs
Iron concentration: 16 mg / 100 g.
In addition to iron, wheat germs are rich in calcium, vitamins, as well as enzymes and antioxidants. You can combine wheat germ with natural juices or berries to support iron assimilation.
3. Pumpkin seeds
Iron concentration: 12,1 mg / 100 g.
The iron contained in 100 g of pumpkin seeds represents about 83% of the recommended daily dose.
Pumpkin seeds are an additional source of vitamin K, zinc and magnesium. They can be eaten in muesli, salads and soups.
Iron concentration: 10 mg / 100 g.
Sesame seeds contain 10 mg of iron per 100 g and are richer in calcium than milk. They also contain phosphorus, zinc, selenium, potassium, copper, magnesium, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, vitamin A, vitamin E, zinc, manganese, copper and Omega 3.
To benefit from the whole complex of nutrients, consume raw seeds and avoid roasting them as much as possible. Sesame seeds can be eaten as such, in cakes, pies, baked goods or can be ground and added to smoothies, salads or other preparations.
5. Flax seed
Iron concentration: 8,2 mg / 100 g.
Flax seeds are known for their high vegetable fiber content, high content of Omega 3 fatty acids and their laxative action. In addition, flax seeds are also rich in iron and should be present in any healthy diet.
Iron concentration: 8 mg / 100 g.
A single cup of quinoa is a quarter of the daily requirement. You can easily integrate them into your diet in the form of garnishes for meat, fish and vegetables. Another benefit is that they do not contain gluten.
Iron concentration: 7,5 mg / 100 g.
Pistachio is highly valued not only for its large amount of iron, but also as a source of unsaturated fatty acids.
It can be used to prepare sauces, in ice cream or simply as a snack between meals.
8. Egg yolk
Iron concentration: 7,2 mg / 100 g.
Eggs are an excellent source of iron, especially if eaten whole. Eggs provide an intake of iron, calcium, protein and vitamins, A, B1, B2.
An egg provides 15% of the daily requirement of iron. In order to increase the absorption of iron from the egg in the body, it is recommended that it be consumed together with vegetables.
Iron concentration: 6,6 mg / 100 g.
100 grams of lentils provide 60% of the daily requirement of iron.
Lentils come in a variety of colors: brown, green, red, orange or yellow, but the richest in iron is black lentils.
It is a good source of protein, dietary fiber and potassium, and a cup of lentils added to salads or soup contains more iron than an average steak.
Iron concentration: 4-6 mg / 100 g.
A food famous for its high iron content is spinach. It is also rich in vitamin C, which greatly increases the absorption of iron.
Spinach has a high content of sodium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sulfur, manganese, zinc, copper, iodine, iron, vitamins A, B1, B2, B12, PP, C, folic acid, chlorophyll, amino acids and beta-carotene.
Nutritionists recommend eating raw spinach (in salads and smoothies) or slightly scalded. By boiling, it loses its properties and can even become harmful if it turns greenish-yellow.
Other foods rich in iron:
- Beans: 20 mg
- Beef: 2,7 mg
- Shells: 28 mg
- Turkey meat: 2,3 mg
- Broccoli: 0,73 mg
- Tofu: 5,6 mg
- Dark chocolate: 8 mg
- Casheu nuts: 4 mg
- Dried apricots: 2,7 mg
- Rucola: 1,5 mg
- Chickpeas: 6,2 mg
- Parsley: 5 mg
The benefits of iron intake for the body:
- It is important for the formation of hemoglobin and myoglobin;
- Prevents and treats anemia;
- Proper functioning and oxygenation of the brain;
- Supporting the immune system;
- Maintaining muscle health;
- Energizing and revitalizing the body;
- Provides gastric secretion;
- Ensures the nutrition of the mucous membranes and the skin;
- It also contributes to fat burning.
Symptoms of iron deficiency:
- Iron deficiency;
- Difficult breathing;
- Feeling of muscle weakness;
- Decreased ability to concentrate;
- Fragility of nails;
- Feeling cold;
- Hair loss;
- Dry skin.
Calcium, magnesium and certain substances found in legumes or grains inhibit the assimilation of iron in the colon. But with the concomitant administration of vitamin C, the assimilation of iron is simplified and the effect of inhibitory substances is reduced.
For proper rption of iron in the body, it is recommended to avoid concomitant consumption with the following products:
- Tea and coffee;
- Milk and dairy products;
- Foods that contain gluten (pasta, bread and products from wheat, rye, oats or barley).
To increase iron absorption, the following foods are also indicated:
- Red meat;
- Brussels sprouts;