Iron is a component of hemoglobin and an important mineral for our survival. We need iron for the effective transportation of oxygen through our red blood cells. A shortage of iron can lead to health problems, including headaches, tiredness, dizziness, and iron deficiency anemia. But don’t worry; you can always work on increasing the iron levels in your body simply by changing what you eat. In this blog post, we have put together a list of 7 foods high in iron. Keep on reading to find out what they are!
Spinach has many health benefits, and one of them is that it contains a good amount of iron. One hundred grams of spinach contains about 2.7 mg of iron. However, the iron is not absorbed very well into the bloodstream. This is because spinach also contains oxalates that bind themselves with the iron and prevent it from being absorbed properly. Spinach is also rich in Vitamin C, which helps to absorb iron, so it almost balances itself out.
2. Breakfast Cereals
There are many breakfast cereals that are rich in iron, but you need to choose the right one to ensure that you get sufficient iron from it. The important thing to note while buying cereal is to check if it is fortified cereal. Fortified cereals contain 100 percent of the daily iron value. Don’t go for the colorful, sugary cereal variety, as they are not only unhealthy but also lack iron.
3. White Beans
White beans are incredibly rich in iron. About 1 cup of white beans has 5.08 mg of iron. You can also go for canned white beans as they contain about 7.83 mg of iron. However, canned white beans might contain extra sodium content as most manufacturers use sodium as a preservative. That being said, white beans are a great source of iron and can be added to salads, pasta, soups, or be eaten on their own.
4. Dark Chocolate
If you love dark chocolate, you are in luck. One ounce of dark chocolate contains 3.4 mg of iron. The main source of iron in dark chocolate is the cacao bean. However, this form of iron is non-heme iron and is absorbed a little less by the body. Nonetheless, there is still enough that gets absorbed into the bloodstream. You can eat foods that contain Vitamin C to speed up and aid iron absorption.
Soybeans are used as an alternate source of protein in vegetarian meals and also have a high iron content, which is valuable for the human body. A half-cup serving of soybeans contains 4.54 mg of iron. You can add soybeans in place of meat, or you can simply add it to a salad or any vegetarian meal to add a bit of crunch to your meal. Soybeans are a good source of iron for people who suffer from iron deficiency anemia.
Lentils are similar to beans and contain a good amount of iron. A half-cup of lentils contains about 6.25 mg of iron. Plus, lentils are easier to cook compared to beans since they take less time to cook. Thus, they make a perfect meal for a quick iron boost to meet the daily requirements. You can eat lentils as a meal itself, or you can add it to another meal or enjoy it with salad.
7. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds make a great snack or side meal option. About 1 ounce of pumpkin seeds contains 2.5 mg of iron, which is almost 14% of the daily requirement. Moreover, pumpkin seeds are a good source of other nutrients, too, such as zinc, vitamin K, and manganese. Pumpkin seeds have other health benefits too. For instance, they help to reduce the risk of diabetes and depression.
We hope that this list of foods high in iron has been helpful to you. If you want to improve your iron levels, make sure that you eat a combination of these iron-rich foods along with Vitamin C since it aids in iron absorption. It is important to read and understand nutritional labels as well in order to get the best benefit of nutrients.