If your body does not have enough iron, you might have challenges and become sick in some instances. Iron is important for the development of your body. As such, you should consume iron rich foods to keep the level of iron balanced. But do you know any iron rich foods that are worth adding to your diet? Check the following list of healthy iron foods.
Importance Of Iron To Our Bodies
You might know that eating iron rich food is essential, but you might not know more besides that. Well, eating iron rich meals comes with a lot of benefits.
Mainly, your body uses iron minerals to make protein in red blood cells called hemoglobin. Hemoglobin transports oxygen from the lungs to various body parts. Lack of iron suppresses your body’s functionality and development.
Additionally, having an iron deficiency can make you sick. You might become weak, dizzy, experience fluctuating body temperature, and more.
Therefore, you should keep your iron intake in check. And iron rich foods are good enough for your daily iron needs. However, at some point, you might need to get iron supplement medication to boost your body.
How Much Iron Does Your Body Need?
Your health is not the same as the one of the next person. We are all different. Some need more iron than others, while other people are okay with average iron levels. Age, gender, health factors, contribute to the level of iron required by the body.
According to Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA), this is the amount of iron required by your body;
Age & Gender
Babies 1-3 years
|Children 4-8 years||10 mg|
|Children 9-13 years||8 mg|
|Females 14-18 years||15 mg|
|Males 14-18 years||11 mg|
|Males 19+ years||8 mg|
|Females 19-50 years||18 mg|
|Females 50+ years||8 mg|
Types Of Iron
There are different types of iron. There is heme and nonheme iron. Heme iron is the one that is found in animal foods such as poultry, seafood, and other meats. Iron from animal food can be easily absorbed by bodies compared to non-heme. Non-heme is iron that we get from plant foods such as beans, spinach, broccoli, and more.
Iron Rich Foods
As mentioned above, we get iron from different foods. Let’s get a list of foods that are iron rich below;
- Biltong (beef)
- String beans
- Dried apricots
- Bran cereal
- Dark chocolate
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sesame seeds
Iron Deficiency Medication
As much as the above food may be helpful in giving your body daily requirements of iron, sometimes you might need iron supplements. Those suffering from iron deficiency can be helped in various ways
What is Ferrous Sulphate?
Ferrous sulfate is a medication that is ideal for preventing low levels of iron. It is usually in the form of tablets.
What is Ferrous Sulphate Used For?
This supplement is highly recommended to anemic individuals as well pregnant women, and others suffering from iron deficiency.
What Is Ferrous Gluconate?
Ferrous gluconate is another medication that is used to treat iron deficiency. Ferrous gluconate is good as a type of iron. This supplement is typically in the form of liquid. It works like ferrous sulfate.
Ferrous Gluconate Vs Ferrous Sulfate
But there are slight differences between these two. Some studies say that ferrous gluconate contains fewer iron elements in comparison to ferrous sulfate. Moreover, the body can more easily absorb gluconate than sulfate.
Iron Supplement For Kids
Kids also can suffer from iron deficiency. Are there iron supplements for kids? Interestingly, kids can also take iron supplements. However, you should consult a doctor before giving your child an iron supplement. The doctor can be helpful in testing your child’s blood to find out if the child has iron deficiency. Then a proper prescription for an iron supplement can be given by a doctor.
There are different types of iron supplements for kids. They include syrups, powder, liquid drops, gummies, chews, and more. Some of these can be mixed with their favorite food. For instance, powder iron supplements can be mixed with yogurt or any other soft food.
What is Iron Fortified Cereal?
Eating iron fortified cereal is another option for improving iron levels. Fortification of food is adding nutrients such as minerals that are not naturally present. There are different foods that can be fortified. Most of the pre-packaged cereals are fortified. However, you should check ingredients and nutrition information when buying iron fortified cereal.
Best Iron Fortified Cereal
- Wheat biscuits
- Bran flakes
- Corn flakes
- Rice Crispies
Iron-Rich Foods For Pregnancy
Pregnant women need adequate iron to have a healthy pregnancy. It is common for them to get iron supplements. Pregnant women require twice the iron compared to a normal woman. Eating iron-rich foods can improve iron levels. However, not all iron rich food is good for pregnant women. Below is a list of iron rich foods that are good for pregnant women;
- Iron fortified cereals
- Cooked oysters
- Pumpkin seeds
Iron rich foods are good for the development of your body. Hence, you should make sure that you eat food that gives you this important mineral.
If you can’t get enough iron that is required by your body, you can consider taking iron supplements. But you should consult a doctor before taking any iron medication or supplements.
Otherwise, you are good with iron-rich foods for your iron needs. Ever heard of red fruits that are rich in iron, find them in the above list of iron rich foods.