Iron deficiency anemia is the most common cause of nutritional deficiency. It can cause severe anemia and appears to be related to cognitive delays in children. For many people, the key to preventing iron deficiency is ensuring an adequate amount of iron in the diet. Below are some foods that are rich in iron. Liver is not included in this list. Although it is an excellent source of iron, it is also high in cholesterol. Iron comes in two forms: heme iron (from meat) and non-heme iron. Heme-iron is better absorbed than non-heme iron but that doesn’t necessarily mean people who are vegetarian are at higher risk for iron deficiency anemia.
Some of these you may already know contain iron, but some might surprise you.
We are talking more than just beef. Chicken, lamb, pork, and turkey also are a good sources of iron. Meat contains heme iron which is easier for the body to absorb meaning you get more of the iron from these foods. Lean sources of beef are recommended.
Not a meat eater? No worries there are additional choices.
Shrimp, clams, and oysters contain the same heme iron as meats, meaning it is easily absorbed.
Strictly vegetarian? No worries, more choices are coming. There are plenty of choices for vegetarians and vegans.
Tofu is a great source of protein with a good amount of iron. Avoid tofu with added calcium as this can decrease the absorption of iron.
In addition to being a great source of protein, beans (including pinto beans, black beans, lentils, and kidney beans) are also a good source of iron.
5. Broccoli and Potatoes
Broccoli and potatoes are super vegetables when it comes to iron. In addition to being a good source of iron, they contain vitamin C which helps your body absorb iron from your diet.
Multiple vegetables are good sources of iron including green leafy vegetables, green beans, and tomatoes. Tomato juice is one of the few juices containing iron.
7. Dried Fruits
Yes, dried apricots, peaches, prunes, and raisins have iron in them. They make a delicious snack as well. Similar to tomato juice, prune juice will allow you to drink your iron.
Most nuts, including cashews, hazelnuts, pistachio and almonds contain iron. So eat a handful as a nutritious snack. Maybe mix in a few dried fruits for a little more iron.
Prevention is Key
Hopefully with these recommendations you will be well on your way to preventing iron deficiency. It is important to note that milk products are not on this list. Milk does not contain iron and it prevents absorption of iron from other foods eaten at the same time. Ingestion of large quantities of milk (more than 3 cups or 24 ounces daily) can prevent adequate absorption of iron from the diet. If your iron deficiency is severe enough to cause anemia, changing your diet alone will not fully correct the iron deficiency. Discuss treatment with your healthcare provider. Sources: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Iron-HealthProfessional/ Accessed 08/18/2015.
Originally posted 2015-09-29 09:48:35.
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