Iron is important for several functions in the body. It is the mineral that is essential for metabolism, muscle health, and other such bodily functions.
One of its main functions is to help make the haemoglobin in red blood cells, which then carry oxygen throughout the body, from our lungs to our muscles and other organs. Our blood cells also use haemoglobin to carry carbon dioxide from other parts of the body to the lungs, where we exhale it out of the body. Moreover, our body needs iron to make some hormones and connective tissue.
Hence, Iron is an essential nutrient of which the recommended daily intake (RDI) is 18 mg. The iron absorption of our body is partly based on our iron stores.
So, a deficiency can occur if your iron intake is too low to replace the amount you lose every day leading to anaemia and other problems that follow with deficiency. Thus, it is important that you consume iron supplement foods that will maintain your iron and other nutritional requirements.
Here are a few foods high in iron:
Legumes are loaded with nutrients and are a great source of iron especially for vegetarians. Some of the most common types of legumes are beans, lentils, chickpeas, peas and soybeans.
Legumes are also known to help you lose weight as they are high in soluble fibre, which can increase the feeling of fullness and reduce calorie intake. In one study, a high-fibre diet containing beans was shown to be as effective as a low-carb diet for weight loss. To maximize iron absorption, consume legumes with foods high in vitamin C, such as tomatoes, greens or citrus fruits.
Both raw and cooked spinach are excellent sources of iron, though it is easy to absorb the nutrients more easily if the spinach is cooked. It provides many health benefits for a few calories. Furthermore, it is rich in antioxidants called carotenoids that reduces the risk of cancer, decreases inflammation and protects your eyes from diseases. Make sure you consume healthy fats like olive oil with your spinach, which helps your body absorb the carotenoids.
Organ meats especially liver, kidneys, brain and heart are extremely nutritious and rich in iron. Also, organ meats are the best sources of choline, protein-rich, high in B-vitamins, copper and selenium. Especially, Liver has vitamin A, providing a remarkable 634% of the RDI per serving.
But it is important to consume liver in moderation as the high vitamin A level may put you over the required limit if eaten too much. Pregnant women should consult a doctor before eating the liver as at times it has been associated with birth defects.
So, these are the foods rich in iron, which will help you retain and maintain your body’s nutritional reserve.