These Iron Abundant Foods You Should Include in Your Diet

When you know how important iron is to our body, knowing the iron rich foods you should be eating is important to be sure you are getting ample amounts of this vital ingredient to life. Iron is a mineral, and has three important functions: carrying oxygen to the body in the bloodstream, helping the muscles function properly, and increasing our resistance to disease. When we are iron deficient, anemia can set in, which generally manifests itself in general fatigue.

People who are more at risk are women, especially if pregnant, long-distance runners, strict vegetarians, people who frequently donate blood, and those with intestinal conditions that cannot absorb nutrients from food. Generally speaking, as you age your requirements will go down, but even elderly people will need nine to ten milligrams on a daily basis. Adolescent men will require about 13mg, female adolescents about 16mg, but pregnant women will need about 30mg on a daily basis.

There is an upper limit on the amount of iron you should be consuming, as iron can build up in the blood and become toxic. For children that range is about 40mg per day and for those over 13 and adults the upper limit is about 45mg per day. Symptoms of toxicity can be nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. Therefore, try to get your iron requirements without resorting to supplements, but if you still feel you need them or are pregnant, a simple blood test will be able to tell you if you are deficient.

Iron is found in two forms in the food we eat: heme as well as non-heme iron.

Heme iron. Making up 40% of the iron in meat, poultry and fish and because they are easily absorbed into our system they are considered the best source for maintaining our iron levels. Other foods that are excellent sources of heme iron are organ meats, clams and oysters.

Non-heme iron. This makes up the other 60% of the iron in animal tissue, as well as all the iron in plants such as fruits, vegetables and grains. Other common foods that will have this form of iron are eggs, dairy products, dried beans and peas, bread, pasta products, dried fruits, nuts and seeds, as well as green leafy vegetables. These would include spinach, mustard greens, chard and kale.

These sources of iron are quite plentiful. However, the non-heme iron does not absorb as readily. On the surface this might seem to be a problem for vegan diets, as the easily absorbed heme iron is not available to vegans. However surveys of vegans have found that iron deficiency anemia is no more common than in the general population. This is because there is another factor at work.

Many vegan diets are rich in vitamin C, which significantly increases the ability for non-heme iron to absorb. Green vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts and kale are full of vitamin C and iron, so they are easily absorbed by those on a vegan diet, provided they have these foods in their diet.

There are certain foods that inhibit absorption, and those include tannic acid found in coffee, green and black tea, cocoa, as well as many herbal teas. They should be avoided at meals that you are trying to increase your iron absorption. Iron content of some other foods not mentioned previously, starting from highest amount to lowest, are soybeans, blackstrap molasses, pumpkin seeds, chickpeas, pinto beans, dried apricots, spinach, oatmeal, and raisins.

These Iron Abundant Foods You Should Include in Your Diet by Rich Carroll

IE Brunson Trying
The Iceberg Effect Free Book