Iron-rich foods named: what are the health benefits

Elena KozlovaLS Food
Iron is better absorbed in the presence of vitamin C
Iron is better absorbed in the presence of vitamin C

Iron is a very important mineral for the body. It is necessary for the formation of red blood cells, the cells responsible for transporting oxygen in the blood.

Its deficiency can cause weakness, fatigue, and pallor, which are typical symptoms of anemia. Eating foods rich in iron (red meat, beef liver, and barley bread) will help restore the required amount of this mineral in the body, according to tuasaude.com.

In addition, such foods should be in the diet of pregnant women, children, and the elderly, as these groups have a higher need for iron.

The amount of iron present in food of animal origin per 100 g:

  • Stewed seafood - 22 mg
  • Boiled chicken liver - 8.5 mg
  • Fried beef liver - 5.8 mg
  • Chicken egg yolk - 5.5 mg
  • Fried fresh tuna - 2.3 mg
  • Canned tuna - 1.3 mg

Iron from food sources of animal origin is absorbed by 20-30% at the intestinal level.

The amount of iron present in foods of plant origin per 100 g:

  • Pumpkin seeds - 14.9 mg
  • Cocoa powder - 5.8 mg
  • Dried apricots - 5.8 mg
  • Tofu - 5.4 mg
  • Sunflower seeds - 5.1 mg
  • Raisins - 4.8 mg
  • Raw spinach - 2.4 mg
  • Peanuts - 2.2 mg
  • Cooked lentils - 1.5 mg
  • Oatmeal - 1.3 mg
  • Strawberries - 0.8 mg
  • Banana - 0.4 mg

The absorption of iron from plant sources is about 5% of the total amount they contain. For this reason, it is important to take them together with foods rich in vitamin C (orange, tangerine, strawberries, or paprika) to improve intestinal absorption.

Iron absorption

To promote better absorption of this mineral, it is important to follow useful tips, namely:

  • Avoid yogurt, milk, or cheese with your main meals, as calcium is a natural inhibitor of iron absorption;
  • Avoid eating whole foods for lunch and dinner, as the phytates they contain reduce the efficiency of its absorption;
  • Avoid sweets, red wine, chocolate, and some herbs for making tea, as they are rich in polyphenols and phytates;
  • Cook food in an iron pan to increase the amount of iron in food.
  • Drink juices from fruits and vegetables.

Daily iron requirement

The daily iron requirement varies by age and gender, as women need more iron than men, especially during pregnancy. For example, men over 19 should receive 8 mg, women aged 19-50 should receive 18 mg, and pregnant women should receive 27 mg.

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