10 Amazing foods high in iron to include in your diet
Iron is an essential nutrient that we all need in our diet and, even a small deficiency in iron, will lead to anaemia, which is a reduction in the number of red blood cells that can cause fatigue and weakness. A severe deficiency in iron can lead to organ failure and other serious complications, so making sure that you have enough iron in the food that you eat is essential for your good health. Despite the fact iron is so readily available in food, it is estimated that 20% of women do have an iron deficiency and, in pregnant women, that percentage rises to nearly 50%. The daily recommend amount of iron for an adult woman is 15mg and, for a pregnant woman, it is 30mg. All you need to do to make sure that are getting enough iron in your diet is to eat the right foods, so here are ten foods high in iron that will help you get all the iron that your body needs.
When you feel the urge for a snack, reach for a handful of nuts, because an average serving of some nuts will give you about 10 percent of the iron you need for the day. Hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, and pine nuts, are a good source of iron and don’t forget that you can use them in baking, in cooking and on salads too, so you can use them to boost the iron content of all kinds of different meals.
Foods high in iron also include eggs. If you are iron deficient, then starting your day with eggs for breakfast would provide you with a good boost to your iron intake. Eggs contain a type of iron called heme iron, which the body can absorb quickly and, two eggs will provide you with about eight percent of your daily recommended intake of iron.
3. Dark chocolate
You might be surprised to find chocolate in the list of foods high in iron. Dark chocolate has a number of health benefits and it’s nowhere near as bad for your waistline as milk chocolate is. Dark chocolate can help lower high blood pressure, it can reduce the levels of cholesterol in your blood, and it contains antioxidants that will help prevent cancer and the signs of aging. A 100g serving of dark chocolate will also provide you with over 30 percent of your daily requirement of iron.
Meat is one of the best sources of iron, so long as you are not a vegetarian of course. All meat contains iron and one of the most iron-rich forms of meat is chicken liver, which contain 8mg of iron per 3oz serving. An ounce of lean steak will contain about 2.9mg of iron and one ounce of chicken breast wall supply about 2mg of iron.
Clams have the highest iron content of the animal sources of the mineral. Just three ounces of clams will provide you with a massive 24mg of iron. That’s more than enough iron for an average woman and nearly your whole daily requirement if you are pregnant. Clams are also a good source of Vitamin B12 and potassium.
Soybeans are also in our list of foods high in iron, they contain a whole range of other vitamins and minerals, fibre and protein. If you eat just a single cup of cooked soybeans, you will have taken on board nearly half of your daily requirement of iron. Foods like tofu and tempeh, which are made from soybeans, are also very rich in iron and they will supply you with about 15 percent of the iron you need with every three ounce serving.
7. Pumpkin seeds
You gain the most iron from pumpkin seeds when you eat them raw and, as well as helping you reach your daily iron target, pumpkin seeds have also been shown to have the ability to help stop the formation of gallstones. An average sized serving of raw pumpkin seeds will supply you with around 30 percent of your daily requirement for iron.
Another great source of iron that can be easily added to your diet is any of the many different varieties of beans, like black beans, pinto beans and kidney beans. A half cup of beans will supply about 10 percent of your daily requirement of beans and, some beans like black beans, also contain molybdenum, which help the body utilise iron more efficiently.
9. Dark green vegetables
Dark green vegetables like spinach are another one of fabulous foods high in iron to incorporate into your diet. A single cup of spinach contains around 3.3mg of iron and it also contains Vitamin C, which helps your body absorb the iron.
You can also get more iron by eating more fruit, and strawberries are a good example of that. A single half a cup of fresh strawberries will provide you with 9 percent of the iron that you need every day, as well as more Vitamin C.
Do you know other foods high in iron?
Stay happy and healthy!