Top 8 Iron Rich Foods
If you’ve ever been low in iron, you’ll know exactly how exhausting it can be! Iron is a mineral essential to life. Its main job is to transport oxygen around the body. Without iron, the body can’t function properly and can’t make energy. A lack of iron can result in headaches, poor concentration, anemia, fatigue, and depression. Definitely not an ideal way to be operating!
So what can you do to make sure you’re getting enough iron?
Eating foods that are high in iron is a great way to start. Iron rich foods give your body the raw materials it needs to make manufacture its own energy. Iron is important for a healthy cells, hair, skin and nails; as well as supporting your immune system.
If you are looking to reap the benefits of iron, but are unsure what foods are iron rich, check out this handy list of the top 8 iron rich foods:
Eating a handful of pumpkin seeds each day will definitely help you get on your way to meeting the recommended daily iron requirement. Pumpkin seeds contain the largest amount of iron on this list. One hundred grams of pumpkin seeds yields 15 milligrams of iron.
Liver comes in second on the list of food high in iron. Although it is known as offal, which doesn’t sound very appealing, traditionally it was considered one of the prized cuts of an animal. Our ancestors seemed to instinctively understand the nutritional benefits of liver! You can bake, boil, broil, fry or stir-fry liver. Liver is rich in vitamin A, copper and 100 grams of liver has 11 milligrams of iron. It is a great food choice to get your iron levels up. Pate anyone?
Salmon contains 1.28 mgs of the daily-required amount of iron. One of my favorite dishes is baked salmon fillet. You simply place the salmon in a baking tray, marinate it in tamari for 5 minutes and cover with chopped spring onions. Bake for 17 minutes in a hot oven and it is delicious!
Spinach is a leafy green flowering plant that is edible. This nutrient-rich food also contains 1.2 mgs of iron. Cooking vegetables increases the absorption of iron by the body; so making some sautéed spinach is a quick way to increase the iron value of spinach.
This edible green plant in the cabbage family is a powerful superfood that contains .86 milligrams of iron to add to the daily requirement. As we found with spinach, cooking broccoli will also increase the amount of iron you absorb. Once the broccoli is cooked you will absorb 30% of its iron, compared to the 6 % you would absorb from raw broccoli. So bring on some steamed broccoli please!
Throw some kidney beans on a plate and get 3.1 mgs of your daily iron requirement. Mix it in with some chili and beef and you will add to its nutritional value. Combining animal and plant proteins together helps to boost the iron absorption from the plant protein.
One hundred grams of beef contains 3.5 grams of iron that can add to your daily value. It is a common choice for many people because of its accessibility and versatility. You can stir fry, roast, or stew beef. The options are endless.
Tofu contains a great source of amino acids, calcium, and 2.96 milligrams of iron. It can be included in many of your meals and is one of the great meat substitutes for individuals who don’t eat meat.
A great way to increase your iron levels is to make sure you incorporate a mix of these iron rich foods into your daily diet. Interestingly, your body is able to regulate your iron levels, so if your iron stores are good, you will absorb less iron from the food you eat, and vice versa.
If you are low in iron and struggling to get your iron levels up, even though you are eating iron rich foods, then supplementation is always an option. We recommend Iron Plus, which contains 25mg of iron in the form of ferrous bisglycinate. A gentle, yet highly absorbable form of iron, which also contains the cofactors required for healthy red blood cell production. Please remember that it is always important to make sure you get your iron levels checked before you start taking an iron supplement.
Now – get cooking and see what iron-rich recipes you can come up with!