Iron plays an important role in building our body’s resistance against disease, and not consuming enough iron can cause many health problems. The main function of iron is helping RBCs (Red Blood cells) transfer oxygen to all body parts.
The need for iron varies according to age. For instance, small children require more iron than adults. If they do not have enough iron in their body, then they can become anemic. The recommended daily intake of iron for children between 6 to 36 months of age is 10 mg per day. And the adolescents between 11 to 18 years are 15 mg per day for girls and 15 mg per day for boys.
But the toddlers mostly depend on milk for their diet, which can lead to iron deficiency. Multivitamins for infants and toddlers is the only solution to this problem. The iron level of small babies can be taken to the optimum level by giving them multivitamin supplements in addition to regular food and milk.
Heme & Non-Heme Iron -:
Iron is divided into two categories i.e. heme iron and nonheme iron. Heme iron is found in poultry products, meat, and seafood. Whereas vegetarian foods such as vegetables, dry fruits, grains, etc are rich in non-heme iron.
Heme iron is easy to absorb whereas non-heme iron is a bit difficult to absorb. For this reason, vegetarians are at higher risk of iron deficiency than vegetarians. Therefore, doctors always recommendiron supplements for babies who do not eat meat and poultry products.
Iron-Rich Meat foods -:
Many people don’t like to eat organ meat, but the liver has incredible health benefits. The liver is a rich source of iron, folate, and vitamin C. Every 3-ounce slice of liver contains 5 mg iron.
The Oyster is another heme iron-rich food. For instance, a 3 ounce serving of Oyster contains up to 3 mg iron content. Apart from iron, it’s a good source of zinc and vitamin B12.
3. Red meat like beef and lamb
It is the most accessible source of iron worldwide. Every 3 ounce of beef or lamb meat contains about 2.7 mg of iron. It’s also a great source of zinc, selenium, and protein.
4. Chicken and turkey
In addition to reading meat, chicken and turkey are also very beneficial to increase iron stores in your body. Dark Turkey meat is in iron content, and a 3-ounce portion of it has 1.4mg of iron.
Pork is also a good source of iron. 1.3 milligrams of iron is found per 100 grams of pork.
Fish contain many essential nutrients such as selenium, vitamin B12, and iron. You can include tuna, coho salmon, trout in your diet to bring your body’s iron levels up to the mark.
Iron Rich Vegetarian Foods -:
Tofu is soy-based curd and is prepared by coagulating the milk of soybean. It is very rich in iron, thiamine, calcium, and magnesium. Half cup of Tofu consists of 3.4 mg of iron.
Dried peas, chickpeas, soybeans, peanuts, lentils are known as Legumes. 100 gm serving of Legumes provides 1.5 mg iron.
Fortified cereals contain a fair amount of iron, 4.3 mg of iron is found in every 100 gm of cereals. They are also rich in zinc, vitamin, folic acid, and the best option for breakfast.
4. Green Vegetables
Dark leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, beet greens, and more are also a rich source of iron.
5. Dried fruits
The dates, apricots, plums, almonds, raisins can also help you to increase your Hb levels. Besides iron, they are also rich in fiber, which helps to normalize the bowel movements.
Some seeds such as pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, flaxseeds, and more also help to boost the iron level in your body
Iron-rich foods are a vital part of a balanced diet and a slight deficiency of it can lead to Anemia. So, to stay healthy it is important to consume a good amount of iron through food and supplements.