10 Iron Rich Foods To Include In Your Diet
Need more iron? Check out these tasty iron rich foods that you should be including in your diet.
Iron is an essential mineral that all need. We don’t need too much, but we need the right amount to boost the transfer of oxygen from the tissues in our bodies. Iron helps us to produce more red blood cells, which help with the speedy transfer of oxygen. And when oxygen is moving around our body more efficiently, we feel fitter, healthier and more energetic.
Iron also strengthens your immune system. If you aren’t getting enough iron, you could end up feeling tired, or even totally exhausted. Indeed, iron deficiency affects 10% of American females, making it the most common nutritional deficiency in America.
Let’s take a look at 10 iron rich foods that you need to include in your diet.
Liver is one of the best sources of iron. Liver and onions was probably your grandmother’s favourite meal. If you didn’t try it because you thought it sounded gross, now might be the time to revisit it because liver not only tastes good, it’s remarkably rich in iron.
Just one slice of liver contains 5 mg of iron, which makes up almost half of a female’s daily requirement. This means you can get almost all of your iron fix in one small meal!
Pork liver is also a good option, and has even higher levels of iron.
However, liver is also rich in cholesterol, and therefore should not be eaten in excess.
Like liver, oysters might be one of those foods you’ve heard of but always been afraid to try because they sound a bit odd. But like liver, oysters are actually really yummy – and they’re also stuffed with iron.
Oysters are a seafood appetiser that you can munch on before your main course. Just a single medium oyster contains up to 5 mg of iron! This means that to get your daily required amount of iron, you just need to eat a few as a warm-up meal when you next visit a seafood restaurant.
Oysters are also rich in vitamin B12, an essential vitamin that is notoriously difficult to get hold of. They also contain zinc.
Oatmeal is already a cracking breakfast. But now that you know oats are rich in iron, you might be ready to eat them even more.
The exact amount of iron you get from a bowl of oatmeal really does depend on the exact oats you’re cooking. Check the label first.
Whole grain oats are the best, and they also come loaded with plenty of other health-boosting nutrients too. For a more nutrient-packed breakfast, add fruit to your bowl. It will help your bod to absorb the iron better, too!
Chickpeas are not to everyones taste, but they’re incredibly versatile. You can add them to a curry, scramble them with your eggs, or even include them in a salad. And if you like chickpeas, you should definitely think about eating more of them, as just one cup contains around 5 mg of iron.
Perfect for vegetarians, chickpeas are famously at their best when used to create hummus. Yum! Hummus – a student favourite – can be spread on toast for a late-night snack, and offers the perfect way to get your iron fix for the day.
You didn’t think this list was going to be all liver and oysters, did you?
Dark chocolate is an indulgent treat. You should be careful not to eat too much of it, but just two squares per day are enough to give you enough iron to keep you going for a few more hours.
Dark chocolate is also rich in antioxidants, and is therefore healthier than lots of people realise.
Pumpkin is popular during the fall, but you should really think about snacking on pumpkin seeds throughout the year. Why? Because they’re rich in iron!
Pumpkin seeds make for the perfect afternoon snack at work because they’re healthy, tasty, and convenient. Just a single cup delivers around 2 mg of iron, while you can probably get over 10 mg out of a whole pack.
You can stuff your face with the seeds by themselves, or you can add them to all kinds of recipes. They’re great in salads and oatmeal, as well as muffins and even bread.
Sardines are super tasty, and a good source of iron. Just a quarter cup contains 1.8 mg of iron.
Lentil soup is the perfect winter warmer if you need more iron in your body. Just a half cup of lentils contains 3.3 mg of iron, which is almost half your daily requirement.
Lentils are really cheap to buy (hence why you’ll see lots of students stocking up on them), and they’re also really versatile. As well as lentil soup, they can be added to a variety of dishes, but you’ll most commonly find them in curries.
Soybeans are a brilliant green legume that light up any meal they’re added to. They’re rich in all kinds of essential minerals and nutrients, including copper, protein and, of course, iron.
Soybeans contain numerous essential amino acids, which indeed make them one of the very best sources of protein for vegetarians. You can add them to many kinds of dishes, but they work best in stir fries or salads.
You may not have noticed soybeans at your local grocery because they’re sometimes labelled as edamame beans. They’re the same thing, but edamame just sounds fancier.
If you decide to eat soybeans on their own or on a slice of toast, add sea salt for extra taste.
Whenever we think of iron, we tend to think of spinach. And sure enough, spinach is a good source of blood-boosting iron.
A half cup of cooked spinach contains around 3.2 mg of iron, which is very good. Spinach is a healthy dark green that can be added to many types of dishes, including eggs florentine, pasta soups and salads.
Stay happy and healthy!