Adding more iron-containing food to your daily diet may help prevent anemia and improve your energy level. Iron is an essential mineral for growth and development of red blood cells and plays a vital role in transferring oxygen throughout the body. It constitutes a critical component of hemoglobin, the substance in red blood cells that make it possible to carry oxygen to the body’s tissues. It also supports DNA synthesis, muscle function, and the immune system. Without a required amount of iron in your body, you may feel weak, fatigued and irritable, as well as having depressed cognitive ability. Incorporating with iron-containing breakfast can help you get your daily need for this mineral.
Iron is an important nutrient which helps in the production of red blood cells. If you have an iron deficiency, your body cannot form enough hemoglobin which can trigger anemia and more susceptible to infections and illness. As a result, you may feel fatigued all the time and get sick more easily.
According to different studies, iron deficiency is particularly prevalent among infants, pregnant women, teenage girls and the elderly as compared to men. About 20% of women, 50% of pregnant women, and 3% of men have an iron deficiency in their body. And in many cases, the best solution or remedy is to add more iron-containing food to your regular diet.
Daily Need of Iron:
When you eat food with iron, iron is absorbed into your body mainly through the upper part of your small intestine and keeps your digestive system in a good condition. However, it is important that you should know how much you need iron each day. The amount of iron you need depends on your sex and age. According to research, healthy men and postmenopausal women require about 8 milligrams of iron daily. The following table explains the amount of iron each day, called the recommended dietary allowance (RDA).
|Daily Recommended Dietary Allowance for Iron|
|1 to 3||7 mg||7 mg|
|4 to 8||10 mg||10 mg|
|9 to 13||8 mg||8 mg|
|14 to 18||15 mg||11 mg|
|19 to 49||18 mg||8 mg|
|Over 50||8 mg||8 mg|
How can you get the most iron from food?
The dietary iron is present in its natural form in a variety of foods. Naturally, food contains iron in 2 forms:
|Meat||1 serving of 100-grams||Seafood||1 serving of 100-grams|
|Beef||2.6 mg||Shrimps||0.5 mg|
|Lamb||1.9 mg||Oysters||4.61 mg|
|Chicken||1.3 mg||Tuna||1.02 mg|
|Turkey||1.47 mg||Sardines||2.9 mg|
|Veal||1 mg||Mackerel||1.63 mg|
|Vegetables||1 serving of 100-grams||Fruit||1 serving of 100-grams|
|Spinach||2.71 mg||Dates||1 mg|
|Sweet potatoes||0.6 mg||Olives||3.3 mg|
|Broccoli||0.7 mg||Dried Apricots||2.7 mg|
|Beet Greens||0.8 mg||Raisins||1.9 mg|
|Brussels Sprouts||1.4 mg||Watermelon||0.2 mg|
|Kale||1.47 mg||Strawberries||0.4 mg|
|Peas||1.5 mg||Figs||0.3 mg|
|Chard||1.8 mg||Dried Peaches||0.3 mg|
|Beans||1 serving of 100-grams||Nuts & Seeds||1 serving of 100-grams|
|Tofu||5.4 mg||Sesame Seeds||14.55 mg|
|White Beans||1.9 mg||Pumpkin Seeds||8.82 mg|
|Edamame||2.11 mg||Chia Seeds||7.72 mg|
|Black Beans||8.7 mg||Flax Seeds||5.73 mg|
|Kidney Beans||8.2 mg||Cashew Nuts||6.68 mg|
|Lima Beans||7.51 mg||Pine Nuts||5.53 mg|
|Garbanzo Beans||4.31 mg||Almonds||3.71 mg|
|Lentils||6.51 mg||Walnuts||2.91 mg|
|Adzuki Beans||4.98 mg||Pistachio Nuts||3.92 mg|
You can also improve your body’s absorption of iron by drinking citrus juice or consuming other foods rich in vitamin C with high-iron foods. Vitamin C in citrus juices, like orange juice, grapefruit, kiwi, tomatoes, leafy greens, peppers, and melons can help your body to absorb dietary iron better.
Here are some breakfast foods that you should indulge in every morning. These foods have a rich amount of iron and other minerals that are potent to boost your energy level all the day and to improve your overall health.
List of Iron Fortified Cereals
If you love to eat cereal at breakfast, then you should opt for a fortified version. It will start your day off with a rich dose of iron and keep you energized and active all the day. According to research, many varieties of fortified cereals provide 90 to 100 percent of the daily recommended value of iron, along with other important minerals and vitamins such as B vitamins, zinc, fiber, and calcium, etc.
Cereals are widely available in three different kinds which are as follows:
This kind of cereal consists of cornflakes, multigrain cheerios and a range of other cereals that don’t require cooking. One cup of cold cereal offers about 18 mg of iron that requires an adult woman each day.
Brown rice cereals and instant oatmeal come in this group of cereal. They usually contain an excellent source of iron, ranging from 10 to 13 mg in each packet.
This group of cereals includes oatmeal, quinoa, oatmeal, and cooked barley. A bowl of cooked cereal provides around 4.9 to 8.1 mg of iron. Here is a list of whole grain cereals with iron their content:
|Cereals||Iron Content (one serving of 100-grams)|
|Bran Flakes||62 mg|
List of Iron-Enriched Breakfast Foods to Include In Your Diet
A slice of white bread that has been enriched with iron contains 0.9 mg of iron. Therefore, you can consume bread with healthy spreads or dips.
Whether you consume eggs scrambled, poached, or made into an omelette, you can never deny the tastiness, versatility, and ease of eggs. They are a rich source of iron, as one serving of 100-grams hen eggs can offer you with 1.75 mg of iron.
If you have an iron deficiency, you should include pasta in your breakfast meal. According to research, you can get 2 mg of iron from eating one cup of spaghetti which that is enriched with iron. You can order it from here.
You can also add boiled white rice to your daily diet to improve your iron deficiency. A cup of long-grain cooking rice contains 2 mg of iron.
Some corn products, like cornflakes, grits and tortillas have a great content of iron. For instance, one cup of iron-enriched cornmeal offers 7 mg of iron. So, you can incorporate them into your breakfast.
Risks and Warning:
It is also important to note that you should consume a moderate amount of iron-containing foods. Because, when iron intake in excessive, your body cannot easily dispose of properly. Excess iron is stored in blood cells and vital organs and has been associated with inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and cancer, etc.
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