Iron is a mineral with a number of important functions in your body. It helps form red blood cells, transports oxygen all over your body and supports your metabolism.
If you’re not eating enough foods containing iron, you are likely to become anemic and suffer from symptoms such as headaches, irritability, dizziness, shortness of breath and fatigue. The recommended daily intake (RDI) of iron is based on an average of 18mg, but individual intake varies depending on age and gender. Here are seven foods that are rich in iron.
Lentils are a good source of iron, protein, and fiber. One cup (198 grams) of cooked lentils provides you with 37% of your RDI. Lentils also contain 18mg of protein and about 50% of your RDI of fiber. Unlike red meat and some other sources of iron, lentils are low in fat and calories.
Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants, but it is also 19 20% of your RDI. This doesn’t give you license to eat a whole bar! A small square after dinner is enough. Consume chocolate with a minimum of 70% cocoa for the maximum benefits. It also appears that dark chocolate may reduce cholesterol and decrease risks of heart attacks and strokes.
Research has shown that those who eat red meat are less likely to suffer from iron deficiencies than those who don’t. One serving of ground meat contains 15% of RDI and is easily accessible. Organ meats, such as liver, are particularly high in iron. Liver contains 36% of your RDI of iron.
This gluten-free food is a good source of iron. However, you need to soak it or slow cook it because it contains phytic acid which can reduce the absorption of iron. Quinoa is also a better source of protein than many other grains. It contains all nine essential amino acids your body can’t make on its own, and that are usually only found in dairy products.
A handful of these seeds contain almost 20% of your RDI of iron. They also contain plenty of antioxidants as well as zinc, copper, magnesium, and vitamin K. Sprinkle them in salads or eat them as a portable, tasty snack.
A cup of steamed broccoli provides about 10% of your RDI of iron. It also contains vitamin C which helps with iron absorption. It also provides fiber, folate and some vitamin K. It is possible that it may help to reduce the risk of cancer.
These nuts contain almost four times the amount of iron as found in other nuts. Sprinkle them on your yogurt in the morning or use them as a crust for meat and fish.
Iron is important and needs to be consumed regularly because your body does not produce it on its own. Most people can easily absorb the amount they need from the food they eat, and absorption is boosted when food contains vitamin C.