Iron is one of the very important mineral that serves several functions in the body like carrying oxygen throughout your body and formation of red blood cells. The daily recommended value is 18mg, if one is iron deficient, they might experience symptoms like fatigue, anemia, and Menstruating women are more prone to become iron deficient if they don’t consume iron rich foods. Interestingly, the amount of iron absorbed in your body depends on the iron stored in your body.
Here is the list of some iron rich healthy foods, that should be a part of your diet:
1. Shell fish:
Shell fish is a very good source of iron, particularly clams, oysters, and muscles. 100 grams of clams contain about 28% of the recommended daily intake for this mineral. Shell fish is very healthy as it contains other nutrients along with haem iron, which is readily absorbed by the body like protein, vitamin B12 etc. Although there are some concerns regarding the presence of mercury in shellfish and other seafood, the nutritional profile of seafood outweighs the risks.
Spinach is a very healthy source of this mineral, only 100grams of spinach provides about 20% of RDI for this mineral. This kind of iron is non-haem iron that is not very absorbable by the body, but spinach is also rich in vitamin C, which boosts up the absorption of iron. Spinach contains a good amount of antioxidants like Carotenoids that protect the body from cancer, is anti inflammatory, and contains several nutrients that improve the health of the retina in your eyes.
Legumes like and kidney beans are all very good sources of iron. Chickpeas, peas, lentils, soybeans, beans, especially for vegetarians. They are also a rich source of folate, magnesium and potassium. Studies have also shown that legumes decrease inflammation in people with diabetes. And reduce the risk of heart problems with people with metabolic syndrome. Legumes also help lose weight, as they are a very rich source of soluble fiber that increase the feeling of fullness and reduce calorie intake. Iron absorption can be increased by adding vitamin C rich foods like tomatoes, citrus fruits and greens to legumes.
4. Red meat:
Red meat is very satisfying and nutritious. It is very rich source of haem iron, which is more absorbable to the body than the kind that is found in plants. In fact, researchers suggest that red meat is the single most accessible absorbable source of haem iron to the body. Red meat is rich in selenium, zinc, protein and several other B vitamins too.
Broccoli is an incredibly nutritious. A one cup that is 156 grams of broccoli contains 1mg that is equal to 6% of RDI for iron that is quite a lot. Broccoli contains other nutrients like folate, vitamin K and vitamin C which increase the absorption of iron. Broccoli is a member of cruciferous vegetables that also include cabbage, cauliflower and Kale. They all are proven to be protective against cancer.
Other iron rich healthy foods include organ meat, liver, turkey, Quinoa, tofu, and dark chocolate, so make sure you get the recommended daily value of mineral from food along with other nutrients from food and try to avoid getting it from supplements when there are so many delicious healthy sources of mineral around you!
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