iron rich foods
Iron is essential for our body, but too much iron can cause health problems. How can I get enough iron without having to eat red meat or take supplements?
Iron is a mineral found in food, especially red meat, poultry, fish, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and vegetables. Iron helps us build strong muscles and bones, and it also plays a role in energy production. Too little iron can result in fatigue, weakness, and other symptoms.
You don’t need to eat red meat to get enough iron rich foods. There are plenty of iron-rich foods out there. Some examples include spinach, broccoli, blackstrap molasses, pumpkin seeds, and tofu. If you want to add some variety to your diet, try adding these foods into your meals.
Chicken is also a good source of iron. A 4 oz serving of chicken breast contains approximately 1.8 mg of iron. However, if you prefer dark meat, then you can get even more iron. Dark meat contains about 2.5 mg of iron per ounce.
Tuna is also a good source for iron. A 5 oz serving of tuna steak contains about 0.8 mg of iron per ounce of fish.
Eggs are a great source of protein, vitamins (A,D,B12), and minerals (calcium, zinc). Vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium and zinc, both of which are important for strong bones and teeth.
Nuts are a good source of fat, fiber, and protein. Fatty acids in nuts have been shown to lower cholesterol levels and may protect against cardiovascular disease. Fiber in nuts helps regulate bowel movements and may prevent colon cancer. Protein in nuts provides building blocks for muscles and skin.
Oatmeal is a great source of dietary fiber and contains many antioxidants. Antioxidants fight free radicals, which cause damage to DNA and lead to cancer. Dietary fiber helps control weight and prevents constipation.
Spinach is a great source of folate, which is necessary for proper fetal development. Folate is also important for maintaining a healthy immune system.
- Dairy Products
Milk, cheese, yogurt, and ice cream provide many vitamins and minerals, including foods with iron. Milk contains 10 mg of iron per cup. Cheese contains 5 mg of iron per ounce. Yogurt contains 4 mg of iron per cup and ice cream contains 1 mg of iron per half-cup serving.
Legumes are a great source of iron, providing 9 mg of iron per cup of cooked kidney beans. Other legume options include black beans, chickpeas, lentils, soybeans, and white beans.
- Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are a great way to add iron to your diet. Almonds have the highest amount of iron, containing 15 mg per ounce. Peanuts and sunflower seeds both contain 12 mg of iron per ounce, followed by cashews, hazelnuts, pistachios, walnuts, and Brazil nuts.
Seafood is a great source of protein and omega-3 fats. Fish is a good source of iron, containing about 0.8 mg of iron per ounce of raw fish. Oysters, clams, mussels, scallops, crab, lobster, and shrimp are some examples of seafood that are rich in iron.