Iron plays an important role in our body from being the one transporting oxygen throughout our entire body as well as producing red blood cells. This essential nutrient can be found in the food that we eat with the recommended intake per day is 18mg worth of iron. The problem, however, that with the kind of diet that we are following, it’s not surprising that our supply of iron is quite low.
Lack of iron in our system can put us at risk from anemia with symptoms like fatigue showing up. Also, women who are menstruating but are not consuming foods that contain iron, are at risk of being iron deficient as well. Fortunately, you can actually ensure that your iron levels are normal by adding the following foods to your diet.
If you haven’t been eating spinach, now is the time to do so as this leafy green vegetable packs quite a lot of benefits with minimal calorie content. Consuming 100 grams of cooked spinach can yield 3.6mg of iron already. Although the type of iron that it has is non-heme, another plus to this vegetable is that it is high in vitamin C which aids in iron absorption. The antioxidants that are present in this vegetable can protect you from cancer while reducing inflammation at the same time.
Compared to other grains, quinoa has been found to contain high amounts of protein while being gluten-free hence it is a popular option among those who want to lose weight or are in need of additional iron in their system. A cup of cooked quinoa can already deliver 2.8mg of iron which is why it is best paired with light and fruity salads as well as tomatoes to create a powerhouse meal.
Another food that you can add to your diet to help with your iron problem is legumes. Think beans, chickpeas, lentils, peas, as well as soybeans. A cup of legumes already contains 6.6mg worth of iron as well as magnesium, folate, including potassium. Studies show that eating legumes can fight inflammation in those who are diabetic. Another plus to legumes is that those who have metabolic syndrome will reduce their risk from heart problems.
This may be the last thing that you’ll expect when trying to correct your iron levels, but dark chocolate is a good source of iron. Eating dark chocolate for dessert is one way to add iron to your system as an ounce of it can deliver 3.3mg of iron already. You can pair it with oranges or berries if you like to make your dessert extra sweet.
Another source of iron that you can add to your diet is pumpkin seeds. This portable snack can give you 4.2mg of iron for every ounce that you eat. What’s more, pumpkin seeds come with zinc, vitamin K, as well as manganese. You can also have this seeds to up your magnesium levels as well which people are quite deficient in as well.
What else can you add to your diet to help with your iron needs? Dried apricots have been found to contain iron where, with every cup you consume, you can get up to 3.46 mg of iron. You can add this to your snack time especially when you combine it with other fruits as well.
These are just a few examples of iron-rich foods that are worth adding to your diet regardless of whether you don’t have enough iron in your system or you just want to keep your iron levels stable.