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Foods Rich in Iron

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Foods Rich in IronIron is a mineral which is needed by our bodies.  It is found in all cells and is required for the proper functioning of our bodies.   For example, iron is required for the production of red blood cells (a process known as haematopoiesis).  It is also part of haemoglobin (the pigment of the red blood cells) which is required for the transport for oxygen from the lungs to all cells throughout the body.

The production of enzymes as well as many cellular functions, depends on the presence and availability of iron in the body. 

Iron is lost by the body through a variety of ways including urination, sweating, and exfoliating of old skin cells. Bleeding contributes to further loss of iron which is why women, especially in those who have heavy menstrual flow,  have a higher demand for iron than men.  

As we are unable to produce iron, there needs to be sufficient consumption of iron in our diets. Otherwise, iron deficiency may result.  Iron deficiency is the most common form of anaemia.  

FOODS HIGH IN IRON


  • Red meats
  • Poultry
  • Seafood
  • Beans & peas
  • Dark green leafy vegetables (eg. Spinach)
  • Dried fruit (eg. Raisins,apricots)
  • Iron-fortified cereals, breads and pastas


Few are aware that our bodies absorbs more iron from meat than it does from other sources.   Hence, if you do not consume meat, you'll need to increase your intake of iron-rich, plant-based foods to absorb the same amount of iron compared to someone who eats meat.

 

VITAMIN C HELPS IRON ABSORPTION


You can enhance your body's ability to absorp iron by consuming foods that are rich in Vitamin C.  These Vitamin C rich foods should be consumed at the same time that you eat high-iron foods.  So drinking a glass of orange juice with your meal will help with iron absorption.

FOODS HIGH IN VITAMIN C

  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Leafy greens
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Grapefruits
  • Papayas
  • Kiwis
  • Oranges
  • Melons
  • Strawberries
  • Tangerines

 


Further Reading