All vitamins and minerals are known to be essential for our bodies to function properly. One such mineral that is incredibly significant to the body is iron. A lack of this vital mineral may cause serious health problems. More than 30% of the world’s population suffers from anemia, as per the World Health Organization, which is brought on by an iron deficiency in the body. Anemia is a health condition that hinders the ability of the body’s red blood cells to carry oxygen. Thankfully, there are numerous ways to increase iron levels, meet daily needs, and still maintain a tasty and nourishing diet. In this blog post from dailyhealthtips.com, you’ll find out about the indications of iron deficiency, the importance of iron in our daily diet, and healthy iron-rich foods.
What Are the Symptoms of Iron Deficiency?
You might not even be aware that you are iron deficient because you might just feel exhausted and rundown. The following are some signs of mild to severe anemia caused by iron deficiency:
- Pale Skin
- Shortness of Breath
- Brittle Nails
- Irregular or Fast Heartbeat
- Cold Hands and Feet
- Bruising or Soreness in the Tongue
Understanding The Role of Iron in Your Diet: How Important Is It?
Iron is a crucial mineral because it is required by the body to produce red blood cells (RBCs) and transport oxygen. If you don’t get enough of this important mineral in your diet, you will feel exhausted. The suggested daily intake for an individual is 18 mg, but this amount may vary depending on factors like age or gender. For instance, men require 21 mg of iron daily. In the case of menstruating women, this amount rises to 18 mg per day, and women who are pregnant must take 35 mg.
Top 5 Best Iron-Rich Foods
To help you meet your iron needs, we have compiled a list of the top 5 foods rich in iron that you can easily incorporate into your diet.
One of the best vegan iron sources is spinach. You can get 2.7 mg of iron from 100 grams of spinach. It also has 28 milligrams of vitamin C. You may not be aware of this, but vitamin C improves the way your body absorbs iron. Therefore, spinach should be a regular part of your diet if you want to increase your iron levels. Additionally, rich in carotenoids, spinach also helps to lower the risk of cancer and improves eye health while helping in the reduction of inflammation. You can eat it as a side dish with your meal, put it in salads and smoothies, and add it to pasta.
Red beets are generally good for your skin and hair, and health experts typically recommend them in cases of iron deficiency since they help to regenerate red blood cells. Iron, folate, and vitamin C are abundant in this vegetable. This vegetable is high in iron, folate, and vitamin C. Therefore, given its outstanding nutritional value for treating anemia, red beetroot should be your first choice.
Broccoli, a cruciferous vegetable, is yet another top pick for vegetarian Australians looking for foods high in iron. A bowl of broccoli has 6% of the daily recommended iron content and 112% of the vitamin C needed to improve the body’s ability to absorb iron. In addition, broccoli is loaded with folates, vitamin K, and fiber and has powerful anti-cancer properties due to the presence of indole, glucosinolates, and sulforaphane.
Sesame seeds, flaxseeds, and pumpkin seeds are excellent sources of iron. Sesame seeds have 14.6 mg of iron per 100 grams, while pumpkin seeds have 3.3 mg. And, 100 grams of flaxseeds contain 5.6 mg of iron. Seeds are also loaded with good fats, folate, potassium, calcium, and several phytosterols. When consumed regularly, they have a long list of health benefits. For a nutrient-dense crunch, you can add these iron-rich seeds to your sauteed vegetables, salads, or juices.
5. Red Meat
As the most readily available source of iron, red meat may be a necessary food for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians who are at risk for iron deficiency. While iron is a vital mineral that can be found in a variety of meats, red meats like lamb and beef contain a significantly higher amount of iron, making it simpler for your body to absorb. Additionally, it is also rich in zinc, B vitamins, selenium, and high-quality protein.
The Bottom Line
The five foods listed above will help you maintain a healthy level of iron in your body and may prevent iron deficiency. We also suggest that our readers track their iron intake and eat foods that are high in iron.