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Top 20 Iron Rich Foods and their Benefits

Have you been getting the right amount of iron from your recent diet? Do you feel an overwhelming weakness taking over your body? This might be a sign of deficiency of iron in your body. This trace mineral is actually the most important component required by your body for proper functioning. It is the primary base component of two proteins that includes myoglobin and hemoglobin. While hemoglobin can be defined as the section of RBC that carries the oxygen into body tissues, Myoglobin can be defined as the part from our muscle cells, which help in holding oxygen. Lack of this mineral can cause anemia that requires one to have iron rich foods implemented in the daily diet.

20 Best Iron Rich Foods

Here is a list of foods rich in iron to help you prepare a proper diet chart.

1) Spirulina

Spirulina is actually an alga of blue-green color, which is well known for the intense flavor it houses. However, the best thing about this food is the fact that it flaunts a good nutritional profile. With just an ounce of the spirulina, you can get 44 percent of the daily requirement for iron. When it comes to iron rich foods list, spirulina is the superstar with numerous essential elements such as protein, amino acids, Vitamin B, vitamin C, Vitamin D and most of all Vitamin E.

2) Liver

When you are looking for iron rich foods for pregnancy, especially the ones rich in heme iron; you can close your eyes and trust liver. For 3 ounces cooked organic liver, you get about 22.5 percent of daily nutritional value of iron. If you have been struggling with anemia, this food can be a great option to overcome any kind of weakness in the body. Liver is rich in iron along with folate and the vitamin B12, which can help you overcome the symptoms of anemia in an apt manner.

3) Grass-Fed Beef

While scrolling through the section for iron rich foods for pregnant women, you will surely find Grass-Fed Beef among the top options. Given the fact that a lean steak of this beef provides you with 22 percent of the daily iron requirement, it is nutritious for you especially when you are eating for two. Consuming iron rich foods during pregnancy helps in maintaining the balance of iron content in the blood while providing you unborn child the benefit of ample nutrition along with some anti-oxidants to fight cancer.

4) Lentils

Looking for a versatile and energy packed option in iron rich foods for vegetarians? Well, lentils can be a great addition to your daily diet. They house a substantially impressive quantity of iron. For half a cup serving, you get up to 20.4 percent of the daily requirement. It also the best protein packed item for vegans looking for a nutritious food substance to substitute any lack of iron or protein.

5) Dark Chocolate

Now, it can be tough for a parent to make their child like fruits or vegetable, which might lead to a lack of nutrition such as iron. However, no one can say no to chocolate. This is why if you are looking for iron rich foods for kids, you will never hear the word “No” when it comes to chocolates. One ounce of chocolate gets you about 19 percent of the daily requirement of iron.

6) Spinach

Iron rich foods for anemia such as spinach can be a great addition to your daily routine. These leafy plans provide ample amount of iron along with other nutritional supplements in both cooked as well as raw form. You can add these leaves of your morning salad or place them inside your sandwich or burger.

7) Sardines

If you love to eat fish, sardines can be a nutritious part of your list for iron rich foods for adults. These small fishes are well known for their sky-high nutritional content including fatty acids, Vitamin D, Omega-3, and iron. More specifically, they contain Heme Iron. Finding sardines is a very easy task as they are available in any local mart that sells fishes. The best thing about sardines is the fact that they are pretty affordable. Therefore, you don’t have to pitch in a lot of money to fulfill your requirement for daily iron content.

8) Black Beans

Black beans can be a great addition to your list of iron rich foods for vegans. Black beans house high amount of iron, fiber, and protein while providing you ample amount of energy stored as starch in the beans. If you are diabetic or even pre-diabetic, black beans act as an excellent source of essential carbohydrates for people who are resistant to insulin. If you are in search of iron rich foods to eat that might help in controlling your blood sugar, black beans are always the right option. 

9) Pistachios

Babies and toddlers are the most vulnerable when it comes to lack of nutrition. Iron rich foods for babies such as pistachios can be crushed to form a fine paste and mixed with milk to provide enough nutritional value in terms of iron. These nutrition dense nuts are also a good substitute when you are looking for a tasty addition to the list of iron rich foods for toddlers. For 1 ounce of pistachios served to you, 6.1 percent of daily iron requirement is fulfilled.

10) Raisins

Raisins along with figs and prunes harbor a significantly high amount of minerals and necessary vitamins. For 1/4 cup of raisins served to you, 6.1 percent of the daily iron requirement can easily be fulfilled. This is similar to the nutritional value provided by pistachios. So if you aren’t a big fan of pistachios, and looking for some tastier version of iron rich foods and fruits to replace it, you can do so with raisins. 

If you have been feeling weakness, fatigue, dizziness, tingling sensation in your legs, headaches, hair fall, etc, it is time for you to amp up your iron content in the diet followed by you. Make sure you add all of these natural supplements stated above to overcome the deficiency of iron that might lead to anemic symptoms flaring up every now and then.

11) Shellfish

As tasty as shellfish is, the dish is equally nutritious. Shellfishes are loaded with iron, while mussels, oysters, and clams are a good source of it. For example, a 100 grams bowl of clam can house 3mg iron which counts for 17 percent of our daily requirement.

The iron content in clams can vary depending on the variety and location they are fished from. While some varieties have lower iron content, others are considered rich sources. The Iron present in the shellfish is known as heme iron. This is absorbed very easily by our body as compared to the non-heme variant found in edible plants.

It can help enhance the healthy HDL blood cholesterol to keep your heart at its optimum condition.

12) Pumpkin Seeds

If you love carving those massive pumpkins on Halloween, make sure you save those seeds as well. Pumpkin seeds, when dried, serve as a portable and tasty snack. An ounce of these seeds can provide you 2.5mg iron content that makes up for 14 percent of your daily requirement.

Additionally, pumpkin seeds also function as an ideal source of zinc, vitamin K, & manganese. These seeds are ideal for people that suffer from issues such as diabetes, insulin resistance, or depression. You can serve them however you like, be it in your favorite cake or with a quick smoothie.

13) Quinoa

A popular superfood among nutritionists and fitness enthusiasts, quinoa is rich in iron. A single cup of 185 grams serving will provide you about 2.8 milligrams of iron that makes up about 16 percent of the daily requirements.

Moreover, if you are someone who suffers from a gluten allergy, quinoa is an amazing option to try as it comes with zero gluten. It is also a great choice for patients that suffer from celiac disease. Quinoa also has higher protein content as compared to other grains. It has a good amount of nutrients such as copper, magnesium, folate, and manganese.

14) Turkey

A great holiday dish, turkey meat is no doubt the best option when hunting for iron-rich food. This is especially true for the darker segments of the turkey meat. About 100 grams of dark meat from a turkey gives you 8 percent of your daily iron requirement, which is 1.4mg.

The same serving of its whiter version contains just 0.7 mg of iron. Dark turkey also has impressive protein content along with other essentials such as vitamin B, zinc, and selenium.

This protein-loaded food can aids in weight loss by rendering a feeling of fullness while increasing your overall metabolic rate post food consumption.

15) Broccoli

While children hate to bite on that broccoli piece, it is incredibly nutritious and must be a part of one’s daily diet. One cup of 156 grams worth of broccoli provides about 6 percent of the daily nutritional requirement.

Broccoli also has a whopping 11.2% of Vitamin c, which helps with the easy absorption of iron into the body. Plus, this veggie is also loaded in folate, fiber, & vitamin K. This veggie contains important plant compounds such as sulforaphane, indole, & glucosinolates that help in protecting your body against cancer.

16) Tofu

A great alternative to milk-based cheese used in vegetarian dishes, tofu is extracted from soy. It is a popular choice among vegetarians & popular in Asian countries. About 126 grams of tofu served to you gives you 3.4 milligrams of iron that makes up about 19 percent of your daily nutritional value.

Tofu also packs in essential nutrients such as thiamine, magnesium, selenium, and calcium. Tofu has unique compounds termed isoflavones that help improve your body’s insulin sensitivity while decreasing risks from heart disease.

17) Tuna

Now, who doesn’t love to gorge on freshly cooked fish? Fishes such as Tuna are loaded with iron content. About 85 grams of tuna houses 1.4 milligrams of iron that makes up for 8 percent of your daily nutritional requirements. Tuna fishes also have a higher ratio of omega-3 fatty acids that help keep your heart healthy while enhancing your body’s metabolism.

It also helps promote better brain health while enhancing the immune function of the body. Fishes besides tuna such as mackerel and haddock are rich in iron and can be a part of your diet.

18) Edamame

A common side dish served with sushi, edamame, or raw soybeans house 9 milligrams of iron. They are also a rich source of essential minerals like copper. This helps keep the blood vessels & the body’s immune system at its optimum health.

A cup of green soybean also provides a good amount of copper along with fiber, manganese, and protein. Soybeans can also be added to pasta or salads. It can also help lower your cholesterol levels while decreasing the risks related to heart diseases.

If you suffer from diabetes, edamame is something that helps maintain the blood sugar level with no spike.

19) Sesame Seeds

If you are looking for something with a nutty taste yet rich in iron, you could try adding sesame seeds to your daily diet. These nutrient-rich seeds contain 1.31 milligrams of iron per tablespoon of serving. It also packs in a range of essential nutrients such as copper, vitamin E, phosphorus, & zinc.

You can easily incorporate them into your diet by sprinkling them on top of your favorite salad. Given that it has a good amount of fiber, it helps support your digestive health. It also helps protect you against diseases such as obesity, cancer, type II diabetes, high blood pressure, and so much more.

20) Egg

Your morning breakfast with eggs is almost like a tasty treat full of essential nutrients. With 100 grams of egg served, you get about 1.2 milligrams of iron. This helps increase your body’s energy while boosting immunity. Apart from iron, this food item has a good amount of protein that helps if you are someone who exercises on a regular basis.

Egg also has choline which helps in better brain development while lowering blood pressure, increasing muscle mass, and optimizing bone health.

About Anirudh Singh

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