Iron-Rich Foods

Iron-Rich Foods That You Should Include In Your Diet

I know all of us grew watching Popeye the Sailor as a cartoon and assuming Spinach as the main source of iron. Well, here is Dr. Nalini Pandhi, an expert Nutrition counselor to tell you that Spinach is not the only vegetable that contains enough iron. It may not even be the only thing that can give you superhuman strength either. There are many iron-rich superfoods that may not make you the brightest student ever or the bravest man that ever walked the earth but it can sure help you fight anemia which is a different kind of enemy altogether. Read on what Dr. Nalaini says –

Iron is a very important mineral for our body as it helps in the creation of red blood cells. It is absorbed mainly through the upper part of the small intestine and is very essential for a healthy and long life. There are some foods (animal protein) that are amazingly Iron-rich and they are:
Some very good sources of heme iron, that contain 3.5 milligrams or more of it per serving (3 ounces) are:

• Beef or chicken liver
• Clams, mollusks or mussels
• Oysters
Good sources of heme iron that contain around 2.1 milligrams or more of it per serving (3 ounces) are:
• Cooked beef
• Canned sardines
There are some other sources of heme iron, which contain about 0.7 milligrams or more of it per serving (3 ounces):
• Chicken
• Cooked Turkey
• Halibut & Haddock
• Perch, Salmon or Tuna
• Ham
• Veal
Iron can also be found in plant foods such as many lentils, beans, and of course spinach which is rich in non-heme iron. This form of iron is the one that gets less absorbed by our body and therefore it is important for us to consume it in rather sufficient quantities. Some very good sources of non-heme iron, which contain 3.5 milligrams or more of it per serving (3 ounces) are:

• Breakfast cereals that are enriched with iron
• One cup or small bowl of cooked beans
• Half a cup of tofu or soya cheese

You may also choose 1 ounce of pumpkin or sesame or squash seeds.

Some other good vegetarian sources of nonheme iron, which contain nearly 2.1 milligrams or more of it per serving, are:
• Half a cup of canned lima beans or red kidney beans or chickpeas
• Dried apricots (1 cup)
• Medium baked potato (1)
• Wheat germ (1/4 cup)

Other very good sources of nonheme iron, which contain about 0.7 milligrams or more of it, are:
• Half a cup of cooked split peas
• An ounce of delicious peanuts, pecans, walnuts and pistachios
• An ounce of roasted almonds or toasted cashews, and/or sunflower seeds
• Half a cup of dried and seedless raisins, peaches, or prunes
• Broccoli (1 medium stalk)
• Raw spinach (1 cup)
• Pasta (1 cup)
• Your regular bread or bran muffin and brown or enriched rice (1 cup)

In order to absorb more iron from your foods, you should avoid drinking caffeinated items such as coffee or tea or aerated drinks. Also, limit your calcium-rich foods and/or drinks especially with meals that are iron-rich. To improve iron absorption, make sure to couple iron-rich foods with a good source of vitamin C like orange juice, strawberries, or broccoli. Going for an iron supplement is another alternative if you otherwise have trouble getting enough iron in your diet from regular foods and drinks.

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