Iron is a major constituent of red blood cells and effectively supplies oxygen throughout the body. Iron is the most important nutrient, and you must incorporate iron in your daily diet to get various health benefits as our body cannot produce iron on its own. The deficiency of iron can cause different health problems like anemia, fatigue, chest pain, shortness of breath, headache, and loss of appetite. Iron deficiency is more common in children and pregnant women worldwide. Luckily, there are many foods containing iron. You can incorporate these iron-packed foods into your diet to avoid iron deficiency. But what are these iron-rich foods? Here is a list of top iron-rich foods.
Eggs and meat
Eggs and meat are excellent sources of iron. Eggs, beef, liver, and giblets are rich in iron. Meat is also a source of selenium, copper, vitamins, and choline. These nutrients are essential for the brain and liver health.
The meat of turkey is packed with iron and, almost 100 grams of turkey contains 1.4 mg of iron. Similarly, 2 large eggs contain 1.6 mg, and 4 ounces of ground beef contain 2.6 mg of iron.
The liver and giblets are rich in iron, but people with high cholesterol levels should avoid the liver.
All shellfish are a good source of iron. Seafood like oysters, mussels, and clams serves as a great source of iron. They are also a source of other important nutrients like zinc and vitamin B12. If your regular menu doesn’t include shellfish like oysters and mussels, you can add plenty of other seafood items to your menu to get some amount of iron.
Fish is packed with omega-3 fatty acids that have many health benefits and support the healthy development of a person. It is also a rich source of iron, niacin, selenium, vitamin B12, and minerals. Tuna, sardines, anchovies, perch, salmon, and haddock are iron-rich fish types.
Legumes are packed with a lot of nutrients including iron. Beans, lentils, and chickpeas are the most common types of lentils.
Chickpeas are a great source of plant-based iron. A cup of chickpeas contains 3.7 mg of iron and makes it a perfect iron choice for vegetarians. Legumes also provide magnesium, potassium, and folate. Few studies suggested that legumes also play an important role in reducing inflammation and decrease the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Try to consume the legumes with vitamin C-rich foods as it maximizes the iron absorption of the body.
Spinach provides iron both in raw and cooked forms. About 100 grams of raw spinach contain 2.7 mg of iron. Spinach is also a rich source of vitamin C that is quite important for the efficient absorption of iron.
Spinach also provides antioxidants, vitamins, protein, fiber, calcium, and other essential minerals. These nutrients reduce inflammation, improves eyesight, and lessen the chances of developing cancer.
Quinoa is popular among people who are gluten intolerant. It is packed with iron and other important nutrients. One cup of quinoa contains 2.8 mg of iron which is quite enough to kick start your day.
Due to its high protein content and gluten-free nature, quinoa is loved by weight watchers. It also provides antioxidants, folate, copper, magnesium, and other important nutrients.
Sesame seeds are widely used because of their unlimited health benefits. These small nutty seeds provide iron, copper, vitamins, phosphorus, zinc, and other essential nutrients. One tablespoon of sesame seeds contains almost 1.3 mg of iron.
There are many ways to add sesame seeds to your diet. You can add them to salads, blend them with your smoothies, or even make energy bars with them.
Dark chocolate is an extremely delicious, nutritious, and healthy food choice. It contains iron, magnesium, and copper. Only 28 grams of dark chocolate provides 3.4 mg of iron. Besides, the prebiotic fiber content of dark chocolate promotes the growth of gut-friendly bacteria.
Dark chocolate is also an important source of providing antioxidants. These antioxidants perform much better than those extracted from the berries.
It is also one of the healthy food choices and is loved by weight watchers to satisfy their cravings. Dark chocolate has shown positive effects on cholesterol and may reduce the risk of heart diseases.