Iron is a crucial element that serves many functions in our body. Since it is not produced by the body itself, you must get it from the food you eat. When your Iron intake is lower than what’s been lost every day, a deficiency can occur which may later lead to Anemia. Iron is essential to carry oxygen throughout your body in the form of hemoglobin. Therefore an iron deficiency can cause fatigue, headaches, pale skin, and dizziness due to the lack of oxygen.
Rather than taking supplements to maintain or fulfill your daily requirement of iron, which is 18mg, consuming Iron-rich food is so much better since supplements sometimes can cause overdoses and harm important organs like the liver and heart. Luckily there are plenty of natural Iron-rich sources to choose from in order to help you meet your daily iron needs.
Spinach is extremely high in Iron. A 100g portion serves 15% of the DV (Daily Value) to be exact. Just like most plant sources, Spinach contains non-heme iron which is hard for the body to absorb well. Therefore this kind of Iron needs vitamin C to make it absorbable. But Spinach contains a significant amount of vitamin C and many other antioxidants like carotenoids that may reduce the risk of cancer, inflammation and protect eyes from certain diseases. So make sure to eat spinach with a healthy fat like olive oil to absorb carotenoids well.
Legumes like beans, soybeans, lentils, chickpeas, and peas are a great source of Iron. Especially, black beans and kidney beans can easily increase your Iron levels since a half cup of cooked black beans can provide 10% of the DV. Legumes are also rich in Potassium, fiber, folate, and Magnesium. This could be the perfect choice for a vegetarian to maintain Iron levels but make sure to consume them together with foods rich in vitamin C to maximize Iron absorption.
03. Pumpkin seeds.
A handful of pumpkin seeds (about 1oz) contains 14% of the Iron DV. They are also rich in Zinc that one cup can provide almost half of the Zinc DV. Pumpkin seeds are among the best sources of Magnesium, providing you with 40% of the DV per 1oz, helping you reduce depression, diabetes, and insulin resistance. Pair this tasty snack with something rich in Vitamin C to receive complete benefits.
All fish are a great source of Iron but certain varieties like tuna, mackerel, sardine, and haddock are extremely rich in Iron. In fact, 85grams of canned tuna can provide you with 8% of the DV for Iron. Fish also contains omega-3 fatty acids, Selenium, Niacin, and vitamin B12 which helps healthy growth, enhances immunity, and improves brain function.
05. Red meat.
Red meat, such as pork, lamb, and beef is rich in proteins, Zinc, types of B vitamins,s and Selenium. A 100g serving of beef contains 15% of the DV for Iron. Since animal sources of Iron carry heme Iron, there’s no need for additional vitamin C to speed up the absorption. Therefore red meat is probably the most easily accessible source of Iron for people who are prone to anemia that works way better than Iron supplements.
06. Organ meat.
The meat of certain organs like the heart, brain, liver, and kidney are extremely nutritious and packed with Iron, protein, Copper, B vitamins, and Selenium. A huge 36% of the DV for Iron is served per every 100g of beef liver. Organ meat also contains Choline, a recently discovered essential nutrient that most people are not meeting the recommended intake, and responsible for maintaining liver, brain, muscle, and nervous system health.
07. White button mushrooms.
White button mushrooms, commonly consumed worldwide are also known as table, common, button, or champignon mushrooms. They are very low in Calories and carry significant amounts of protein, amino acids, Vitamin D, Copper, Phosphorus, Potassium, and fiber. You receive 10% of the DV for Iron per 100-gram serving and act as an excellent choice for any vegetarian.
08. Dark chocolate.
If you are not a fan of any of the above, we got you another tasty option you can’t resist. Yes, dark chocolate is incredibly delicious and highly nutritious. A 28g serving could offer you 3.4mg of Iron, Which is 19% of the DV. In addition they also contain Copper, Magnesium, prebiotic fibre and loads of antioxidants. Therefore dark chocolate could be beneficial in lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes.