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Remember ‘Popeye’, one of the cartoon characters who used to have a spinach drink before fighting with villains? That cartoon character helped many parents to educate their children that eating iron-rich foods like spinach can help you fight off villains.
But it is true to say that spinach may not give us the strength to fight off villains like Popeye, but surely this green leafy vegetable and other iron-rich foods can help us fight different types of enemies like iron deficiency or anemia. Iron is one of the crucial minerals, as your body needs it to produce RBCs (red blood cells) and carry oxygen.
Furthermore, do you know, on average we need to consume 18 mg of iron every day, but the requirement varies depending on your age and gender?
Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) For Iron
|Men and post-menopausal women||8 mg/day|
|Premenopausal Women||18 mg/day|
|Pregnant Women||27 mg/day|
|Lactating Women||9 mg/day|
|Infants and Children||Values|
|1 to 3 years||07mg/day|
|4 to 8 years||10 mg/day|
|9 to 13 years||10mg/day|
|14 to 18 years||11mg/days|
|Boys and girls above 15 years||15mg/days|
In fact, let’s read along to find out some essential iron-rich foods which can help you meet your daily iron requirements.
Top 7 Iron-Rich Foods To Include In Your Diet
There are a plethora of iron-rich foods you can include in your diet. Here we have enlisted the list of foods that can help you improve your overall iron intake.
Iron Rich Fruits
Let’s have a look at fruits rich in iron:
- Bananas are one of the right dietary sources of iron. It offers around 0.3mg per 100gm serving.
- Also, bananas also offer high amounts of folate, which are crucial for fighting iron deficiency.
- Additionally, it contains many other vital nutrients like Vitamin B6, Potassium, Manganese, Vitamin C, dietary fiber, etc., making it a wholesome nutritious food that can help you in weight loss.
Also, you can have banana cakes on your weight loss journey. Yes, you read it correctly!! Well, nobody can say no to the yummy scrummy cakes, isn’t it? But how to prepare a healthy banana cake? Don’t worry we have the solution in this video. So, let’s have a look and enjoy.
- Pomegranate is one of the best fruits to improve iron levels in anemic patients.
- A 100gms serving of this fruit offers 0.3mg of iron, which is 2% of DV, along with 10.2mg of Vitamin C for better iron absorption.
- Furthermore, pomegranate is a rich source of other nutrients like Vitamin K and B6, Folate, etc., to boost your overall health and also one of the fruits that helps you in weight loss journey.
Iron Rich Dry Fruits
Many dry fruits and nuts can fulfill your iron requirement.
- The iron levels in dry fruits vary with the variety. For instance, in one of the varieties of dates like Deglet Noor Dates, 100gms serving offers 1mg of iron which is 6% of DV.
- Similarly, Medjool dates have minute lower iron levels with 0.9mg per 100gms serving (5% of DV). Along with eating whole, pitted dates, you can also consume these dates in the form of puree and syrup.
- The level of iron in raisins also depends on the variety. In 100gm raisins, it can offer anywhere between 1.8mg to 2.6mg of iron.
- The % DV values can range from 9-14%, which makes raisins one of the rich foods with high iron content.
- Additionally, raisins also offer other crucial nutrients like Magnesium, Vitamin B6, Potassium, Dietary Fiber, etc., to promote a healthy lifestyle.
Here are the seeds that are rich in iron:
- Dried sunflower seeds are a magnificent source of iron which offer around 5.3mg per 100gms serving (29%). The values vary between dry roasted, toasted, and oil-roasted seeds.
- Therefore, all these toasted sunflower seeds offer about 6.8mg of iron, about 37% of DV. Moreover, they also offer high amounts of Vitamin-B6, Potassium, and dietary fiber.
- Pumpkin seeds are nutrient-dense foods that are best for treating iron deficiency.
- A 100gms serving of pumpkin seeds offers 3.3mg of iron, which is about 18% of DV.
- Interestingly, if you roast pumpkin seeds, they offer higher iron values compared to dried seeds, which are about 8.1mg of iron to satisfy 45% of DV.
- Hence, there are many benefits of pumpkin seeds that help an individual make their diet healthy
Iron Rich Vegetables
Include these vegetables in your diet to fulfill the iron requirement.
- Beetroot is one of the most suggested foods for treating iron deficiency due to its iron-rich profile.
- In beetroot, a 100gm serving offers 0.8 mg of iron, which is about 4% of RDV. Along with iron, it also offers good amounts of folic acid that helps your body make red blood cells.
- However, beetroot also offers crucial nutrients like dietary fiber, vitamins A, C, etc.
- Broccoli is also one of the best iron-rich foods. A 100gmm serving of raw broccoli offers about 0.7mg of iron, which meets 3% of DV.
- Additionally, broccoli contains high amounts of Vitamin C, which helps in the faster absorption of iron.
- Additionally, along with treating iron deficiencies, it also offers many other nutrients like sodium, Vitamin A, potassium, dietary fiber, etc., to improve overall health.
Other Iron Rich Foods
Let’s have a look at other iron-rich foods to include in your diet.
Beans and Lentils
- Now, including beans and lentils in the diet which are one of the best iron-rich foods, can reduce the risk of anemia.
- Serving 100mg of cooked lentils without salt offers about 3.3mg of iron, which is 19% of DV. On the other hand, the same amount of cooked black beans offer 2.1mg of iron, which is 12% of DV.
- The best types of beans and lentils with high iron levels are lima chickpeas, black-eyed peas, black lentils, etc.
How can we forget your favourite meal rajmah chawal, so rajmah is also among the best iron-rich foods.
- When it comes to offering the right amount of iron, oatmeal tops the list of iron-rich cereals.
- A 100gms serving of cooked oatmeal offers around 6mg of iron, which is 33% of DV.
- Readymade, fortified oatmeal cereals from different brands offer as high as 12.1 mg of iron, depending on the flavor and variety.
- One of the good ways to improve iron-rich foods levels in your body is by adding some eggs to your diet.
- Hard-boiled whole chicken eggs offer around 1.2mg of iron, which is 7% of DV. Eggs are considered rich in iron food which has other nutrients like folate and Vitamin B12.
Health Benefits of Iron-Rich Foods
The health benefits of iron tend to be ignored till the mineral is deficient in the body. So, with this in mind we have listed a few more here:
Stronger Immune System
- As iron boosts the production of red blood cells, it also helps in repairing the cells and tissues, and therefore, improves the body’s immunity.
- Having a good amount of the mineral in the body helps you fight off a variety of infections and diseases. With this intention, the intake of the right amount of nutrients and iron daily will go a long way in improving your immune system.
Improve Muscle Strength
- Weakness in muscles is closely related to iron deficiency. So, consuming the right amount of iron-rich foods helps provide the oxygen required for muscle contraction.
- Also, the low intake of iron increases the chance of muscle fatigue. Iron deficiency can also cause the inflammation of muscle tissues, thereby increasing pain levels. Thus, you can reduce your muscle pain by increasing your consumption of the mineral.
- It is true that the fetus gets a sufficient supply of nutrients and oxygen to support its growth. Due to this, the mother body requires greater amounts of iron, to keep up with the demand. On the other hand, the intake of high-rich-iron food, which is a great source of minerals, increases the production of red blood cells and blood volume.
- Thus, consuming low amounts of minerals can increase the chances of premature birth or some other issues. At the same time, it can even impair the behavioral or cognitive development of the fetus. As a matter of fact, always ensuring the right amount of iron consumption during pregnancy will keep both the mother and the child healthy.
How Iron-Rich Foods Prevent Weight Loss?
Not to mention, Iron is found in hemoglobin carries oxygenated blood through the body, and boosts the metabolism that keeps us active. Although, when we consume the right amount of iron every day, it also prevents weight loss efforts too.
In short, including iron-rich foods in your daily diet routine is the best way to improve your intake of minerals. However, it can help you in improving cognitive function, muscle strength, and your immune system, among several other health benefits as discussed earlier.
Similarly, ignoring all these minerals can lead to a deficiency that can give rise to a condition called anemia. In conclusion or as result, you must include an iron-rich diet as discussed above in your daily routine, and obtain hidden benefits from them.
Did someone tell you that you can have ‘Onion Pakoda’ for weight loss? Well, yes, here with Fitelo try making this unique and tasty onion pakoda recipe and enjoy your monsoon. It has a lot to offer when it comes to health benefits and especially weight loss. So, let’s try now, and keep snacking healthily.
Yummy Recipes from our Kitchen
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This blog post was written to help you to make healthy and better food choices altogether. So, be aware and take care. The important thing to consider is your own health before starting a diet that is restrictive. Therefore, always seek advice from a doctor/dietitian before starting if you have any concerns.
Eat Healthy, Live Healthy. Enjoy a long happy life.