8 Best Foods For Iron Supplementation

8 Best Foods For Iron Supplementation

Iron is an essential mineral with some serious responsibility. It helps the formation of hemoglobin, aids in oxygen transportation, is a major component in muscle mechanics, and plays an important role in brain function.

Yet, many people are iron deficient. This includes women, vegetarians/vegans, those who suffer from gastrointestinal challenges, and people (particularly children) who drink 16 to 24 ounces of milk per day.

Iron supplements are available but can come with side effects such as constipation and limited assimilation. These 8 best foods for iron supplementation are all it may take to increase your iron benefits which could include less fatigue, decreased headaches, better breathing, healthier nails, skin and hair.

Soybeans

There are two kinds of iron. Heme iron which is derived from animal products and non-heme derived from vegetable sources.

It is believed that non-heme iron is better regulated by the body but heme iron is better absorbed. Therefore, more non-heme iron is needed if you do not eat meat.

About a cup and a half of soybeans contains approximately 52% of your daily recommended iron intake. This is an excellent source that can be added to many dishes for a good iron dose. Soybean nutrition can be found in its raw state like edamame or processed into tofu, tempeh and other choices.

Do be careful as to incorporate soybeans with other iron based foods as too much processed soy can be unhealthy to consume. In addition, soy is also converted to estrogen (a female hormone) which, if over consumed, can possibly create some health challenges. Check with your doctor.

Mussels, Oysters and Clams

Raw shell seafood, mussels, oysters and clams are high in heme iron as well as protein. Per 100 grams mussels contain 6.7 mg of iron, oysters 12 mg and clams come in at 28 mg. One serving of these mollusks can boost your iron intake about 100% – 150%.

Spinach

Fresh spinach eaten raw (as a salad) contains a whopping 36% of iron per cup. It also contains a good amount of vitamin C which is a major component in the absorption process of iron.

Beef or Pork Liver

Organ meats aren’t for everyone but if you are particular to beef or pork liver you can considerably boost your iron intake.

Spirulina

This is a natural algae called a cyanobacteria which is considered a “superfood” one of the most potent resources of nutrients, particularly iron. Just 15 grams contains about 24%.

It can be found in tablets, capsules and powder which is easily added to shakes and other dishes.

Lentils

Legumes are a major staple of plant-based protein and lentils are a top contender. About one cup of lentils offers 36% daily iron intake. Beans retain more of their potency if they are soaked raw before cooking.

Ginger

That’s right, this knobby root contains 3.4 mg of iron per 3 grams. It is a spicy herb that can be added to savory dishes, desserts or consumed as a strong tea. Ginger is also excellent for quelling an upset stomach.

Fortified Foods

Many cereals, breads and other foods advertise as being fortified with iron. However, don’t be fooled by highly processed, sugar laden packaged foods that tout iron fortification. These foods can be more detrimental than good.

Look for whole grains, corn flakes, and oatmeal that indicate on the ingredients label just how much iron it contains with as little sugar or preservative ingredients as possible.

Incorporating these 8 best foods for iron supplementation could be an excellent addition to your diet. It is important to again note that iron absorption relies on Vitamin C.

Foods high in C include tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, peas, Brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, dark leafy greens (such as kale) and various fruits.

Eating these vitamin C foods at the same time you are eating high iron foods can considerably increase absorption.



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