Know all about Iron Rich Food
Iron serves an important role as it carries oxygen throughout the body. Therefore Iron is a 'must have' in one's diet.
One cup of cooked quinoa contains about 3 mgs of iron. Moreover, quiona contains no gluten and hence it is helpful for people with celiac disease. Quinoa also has higher protein content than many other grains.
Every day in my OPD some questions are asked about iron intake. Many women want to know about foods that will naturally increase their body's iron levels. Also most are wary about taking iron supplements.
Now Iron serves an important role as it carries oxygen throughout the body. Therefore Iron is a 'must have' in one's diet. It is an essential nutrient. The daily intake should be around 17-20 mg. The amount of iron absorbed from the body is dependent on the amount that is stored. An Iron deficiency occurs if there is less intake then the amount that is lost. Menstruating women and pregnant women are in high risk of this deficiency and hence they are advised iron supplements. However, there are plenty of foods which can replenish iron levels naturally.
Asian Catfish locally called 'Magur' and 'Singhi' fishes are fortified with iron. A 100mg of these fishes contain about 2mg of iron. They are also rich in protein and other nutrients and also help to increase the good cholesterol in the body.
Green Leafy Vegetables
Green Leafy vegetables including spinach provide many health benefits. About 100 grams of raw spinach contains 2.7 mgs of iron. Spinach is also rich in vitamin C. This is an important aspect as Vitamin C significantly boosts iron absorption. Green leafy vegetables are also rich in antioxidants called carotenoids, which may reduce your risk of cancer.
Organ meats are extremely nutritious. Popular types include liver, kidneys, brain and heart — all of which are high in iron content. A serving of mutton liver contains 5.5 mg of iron, while a chicken liver is estimated to have 3.5 mg of iron.
Some of the most common types of legumes are beans, lentils, chickpeas, peas and soybeans. These are a great source of iron, especially for vegetarians. One cup (198 grams) of cooked lentils contains 6.6 mg of iron. Beans like black beans, navy beans and kidney beans can all help to increase your iron levels. In fact, a half-cup (86-gram) serving of cooked black beans provides around 1.8 grams of iron. Legumes are also a good source of folate, magnesium and potassium. Additionally, legumes may help you to lose weight. Moreover, legumes are very high in soluble fiber, which can increase feelings of fullness and reduce calorie intake. To maximize iron absorption, consume legumes with foods high in Vitamin C, such as tomatoes, greens or citrus fruits.
Pumpkin seeds are a tasty, portable snack. A 50 gram serving of pumpkin seeds contains 5 mgs of iron. In addition, pumpkin seeds are a good source of Vitamin K, zinc and manganese. These seeds are also one of the best sources of magnesium, which many people are deficient in.
Quinoa is a new age cereal also called the pseudo cereal. One cup of cooked quinoa contains about 3 mg of iron. Moreover, quiona contains no gluten and hence it is helpful for people with celiac disease. Quinoa also has a higher protein content than many other grains. It is also rich in folate, magnesium, copper, manganese and many other nutrients. In addition, compared to other grains, quinoa has more antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help protect your cells from free radicals, which are formed during metabolism and in response to stress.
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, sprouts and cabbage are highly nutritious. A cup of around 150 gms of cooked vegetables contain about 1-1.5 mgs of iron. These vegetables also contain high amounts of Vitamin C which helps the body to absorb iron better. These vegetables are also high in folate and fiber.
Dark chocolate is incredibly delicious and nutritious; and it is soon turning out be a favourite food for gym goers. A bar of chocolate approximately 100 mgs contains about 3.5 mgs of iron. It is also high in probiotics. Dark chocolate has high content of flavones, which aids in reduction of bad cholesterol from your body too.
Iron intake from food is a necessity but a very (excessive) high intake of meat or food which is high in heme iron is more harmful than beneficial. If one cannot take meat or fish they should rely on a substantial intake of Vitamin C by eating plant based sources of iron. This will boost iron absorption.
Dr Rajashree Sharma
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