Iron-Rich Foods You Must Include In Your Daily Diet

Iron-Rich Foods: Iron is a nutrient that you should eat in sufficient quantities because it has a direct impact on your health. Here is a comprehensive list of vegetarian and non-vegetarian foods that are a rich source of Iron.

If you want to stay healthy, you should follow a healthy diet. You should consume a balanced diet that contains all the essential nutrients such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins & minerals in the right quantities, every day. Iron is one such nutrient that you should eat in sufficient quantities because it has a direct impact on the health of your blood.

Iron-deficiency can result in symptoms like low blood count, low hemoglobin, dehydration, anemia, and unexplained fatigue. If you want to stay away from these symptoms, you should ensure that you include some or all of these foods in your daily diet. These have very high iron-content; therefore, they keep you energized all through the day.

Vegetarian Iron-Rich Foods You Must Eat Daily

1. Spinach

This is one of the most commonly available foods on this list. It is not that costly as well; therefore, anybody can include this in their daily diet. In just about 100 grams of spinach, you can get 3.6mg of iron, which is almost 20% of your daily recommended levels (RDA). The major highlight of spinach is that it contains a very good amount of Vitamin C.

Usually, you have to eat Vitamin C-rich foods for your body to absorb the iron in the foods that you eat. Spinach is one of those foods that have Vitamin C and iron in plenty. Therefore, your body can absorb a lot of iron from this one food item. You can cook spinach in different forms, so that you can consume it daily without feeling any boredom towards it.

2. Healthy seeds

Seeds like pumpkin seeds and quinoa are rich in iron. These are healthy snacks that you can pack in a box and take to work. During the day, when you feel the urge to eat something, you can replace your usual snacks of wafers or biscuits with these seeds. These are easily available across the globe, making it suitable for all people.

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While pumpkin seeds can be eaten raw, we highly recommend that you eat only cooked quinoa seeds to avoid digestion issues. A cup of 28 grams of pumpkin seeds can give you 23% of your daily recommended levels of iron, whereas a cup of cooked quinoa seeds (roughly 185 grams) can give you 15% of your daily recommended levels of iron.

Apart from iron, these seeds are also powerhouses of various nutrients that you need every day for a healthy lifestyle. Both pumpkin and quinoa seeds are excellent sources of magnesium. While pumpkin seeds are also known for their Vitamin K and zinc content, quinoa seeds are known for their antioxidants and high-protein content.

 Iron-Rich Foods You Must Include In Your Daily Diet
Iron-rich foods: Seeds are healthy snacks that you can pack in a box and take to work

3. Broccoli

Like spinach, broccoli, too, is one of those food items that are rich sources of Vitamin C and iron. Therefore, it helps you absorb the iron in it far better than other foods. In about 156 grams of cooked broccoli, you can get 6% of your daily recommended levels of iron. You will be pleasantly surprised to know that the same quantity of broccoli will also give you a whopping 168% of your daily recommended levels of Vitamin C!

Broccoli belongs to the family of cruciferous vegetables. These are known for being rich sources of plant-based compounds known as antioxidants. Studies have proved that regular consumption of these vegetables can also reduce your risk of serious ailments such as cancer.

4. Dark Chocolate

That’s quite a yummy item on this list! To get the maximum iron content from your bite, ensure that you choose only chocolates that have at least 70% cocoa in it. You can eat about one ounce of dark chocolate (around 28 grams) every day, as it contains 3.3mg of iron. This is almost 19% of your daily recommended levels.

5. Tofu

A soy product, Tofu, is commonly substituted with cottage cheese in Asian cuisine by people who are health-conscious. It is very healthy, and it is very tasty as well. There are hundreds of dishes that can be prepared using tofu, so you will never get bored of it. The good thing is that in about 126 grams of cooked tofu, you will get 3.6mg of iron, which is close to 19% of your daily recommended levels. Since it is also rich in antioxidants, it makes you less prone to cardiac ailments.

 Iron-Rich Foods You Must Include In Your Daily Diet
Healthy foods rich in iron: There are hundreds of dishes that can be prepared using tofu

6. Legumes

Legumes belong to a broad category of foods that are loaded with nutrients. You can choose any legume that you prefer (chickpeas, beans, lentils, peas, or soybeans). You can also create interesting recipes by combining two or more legumes. They are good in protein as well; therefore, many doctors recommend vegetarians to include legumes in their regular diet to stay healthy.

Also Read: Top 10 Benefits Of A Protein-Rich Diet

One cup of cooked legumes (about 200grams) contains about 6.6mg of iron. This is almost 37% of your daily recommended levels. Cooked legumes are very tasty as well as they can be used in many dishes. If you don’t have the time to cook them, you can boil them and consume them as a refreshing salad to feel fresh all day.

Non-Vegetarian Iron-Rich Foods For You

If you are a non-vegetarian, you can get a lot of iron daily from these foods:

1. Shellfish

All types of shellfishes are good sources of iron. They are very tasty as well, which is why people love them across the globe. Oysters, mussels, and clams are some types of shellfishes that have very high iron content.

Iron is of two types – heme and non-heme. Usually, the non-heme iron is found in plant products, and heme iron is found in animal products. The human body can absorb heme iron very easily. Shellfishes are rich in heme iron. A cup of 100 grams of clams contains around 28mg of iron, which is 155% of your daily recommended levels!

 Iron-Rich Foods You Must Include In Your Daily Diet
Iron-rich foods: All types of shellfishes are good sources of iron

2. Organ meat

Meat from the liver, kidney, brain, and heart is considered to be very rich in iron content. The liver, especially, contains a lot of iron. It is quite tasty as well. When you consume 100 grams of beef liver, you can get 6.5mg of iron, which is almost 36% of your daily recommended level.

Apart from iron, meat from these vital organs is also a rich source of choline, Vitamin B, selenium, copper and Vitamin A. Therefore, include this regularly in your meal plan to stay healthy.

3. Red Meat

Considered to be one of the richest sources of heme iron, red meat is tasty and very easily available as well. It can be cooked in many healthy forms; therefore, you can eat it regularly without getting bored. In 100 grams of red meat, you will get 2.7mg of iron, which is 15% of your daily recommended level. Studies have proved that people, who consume a lot of red meat and organ meat regularly are less prone to iron-deficiency ailments than people who don’t.

4. Turkey

Dark turkey meat is a very good source of protein. If you like the taste of turkey, you shouldn’t hesitate to include this tasty meal at least twice a week. You can get 2.3mg of iron in 100 grams of dark turkey meat. This is about 10% of your daily recommended level. While white turkey is also healthy, it isn’t as iron-rich as dark turkey.

 Iron-Rich Foods You Must Include In Your Daily Diet
Iron-rich foods: Dark turkey meat is a very good source of protein

What to note?

To get the maximum iron content from the foods that we have listed above, you should always consume fresh foods only. Store-bought, frozen, or canned foods don’t have as many nutrients. They are loaded with refined ingredients and unhealthy additives such as preservatives, which are of no use to you.

FAQs

  1. What are some of the symptoms of low iron levels in the body?

    1. Weakness
    2. Pale skin
    3. Headache
    4. Dizziness
    5. Cold hands and feet
    6. Extreme fatigue
    7. Chest pain
    8. Fast heartbeat
    9. Inflammation or soreness of tongue
    10. Cravings for substances such as starch, dirt or ice.
    11. Brittle nails
    12. Poor appetite, especially in infants and young children.

  2. What causes iron levels to go low?

    Inadequate iron intake leads to low iron levels in the body. This could be due to poor diet, inflammatory bowel disease, increased requirement during pregnancy or increased blood loss during menstruation or internal bleeding.

  3. What happens when iron levels drop down in the body?

    Iron deficiency occurs when the body doesn't have enough of the mineral iron. This leads to a drop in red blood cell count in the body. Low RBC's lead to low hemoglobin which absorb oxygen from and transport it to various tissues and organs. Without sufficient oxygen levels, these tissues and organs will not be able to function properly.

  4. Does low iron cause sleep disorders or problems?

    Low iron can cause sleep problems. It can also lead to restless leg syndrome wherein, you have a strong urge to move your legs even while you are at rest. It can also cause a strange tingling, crawling or itching sensation in feet and legs, especially while trying to sleep.

  5. Can low iron levels cause hair loss?

    Iron is key in transporting oxygen to all parts of the body. In extreme cases of iron deficiency, the body goes into survival mode and oxygen i transported to only essential organs. This does not include the scalp and so the body is not able to keep hair intact.

  6. Which fruits are rich in iron?

    1. Apple
    2. Pineapple
    3. Pomegranate
    4. Dates
    5. Banana
    6. Peach
    7. Figs
    8. Watermelon

References

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