Good sources of iron – Your nutrition is essential for providing more than just energy.
Many micronutrients, necessary in order to drive important life functions such as your metabolism, immune system and endocrine system (hormones)
These essential vitamins and minerals need to be sourced from a diet containing them in adequate quantities.
One such vital mineral is good old iron, we’re sure you’ve heard of it.
But knowing that you need iron is one thing, what does it actually do?
Why You Really Need Iron
Iron is important when it comes to your energy system.
Specifically when it comes to oxygen transport and delivery.
That’s because it is responsible for the attachment of energy molecules from to your red blood cells from the air you breathe into the cells that will use it in metabolic reactions.
This happens when iron, bound to the carrier protein hemoglobin, helps shuttle oxygen through your bloodstream.
Iron is also present in myoglobin, a similar protein to hemoglobin that is instead found in muscle tissue.
Here oxygen is stored as a back up for muscular contractions.
An iron deficiency can bring about anemia and a myriad of health complications that cascade from it.
Hypoxia or a lack of oxygen is just one of the dire consequences of anemia and a lack of iron.
One challenge many people face when considering iron is knowing where to get good, healthy amounts of it.
In this article, we’re going to look good sources of iron for healthy iron intake.
Top 5 Dietary Iron Sources
Beef and Red Meats
Red meats such as beef, lamb, and pork contain healthy doses of iron.
The color is quite indicative.
Both the blood content and the myoglobin in the muscle tissue of meat bring with them an abundance of iron making meat a healthy source of the mineral.
Needless to say, meat should be consumed with care and in moderation. That’s because the high levels of saturated fat can quickly add up and become unhealthy.
3 oz of lean ground beef and give you up to 2.07 mg of iron.
Liver and Organ Meats
Taking it a step further we have liver and other organ meats such as kidneys is good sources of iron.
Now we know what you’re thinking, Ewww, gross, but the thing is, the liver and other organs are among the most nutritious forms of animal-sourced foods.
The liver specifically, is a factory system in your body, responsible for the production of many useful substances
It has an abundance of vitamins and minerals and iron is definitely present.
3 oz of beef liver will give you roughly 4.17 mg of iron.
Spinach has good sources of iron, touted for its energy-giving qualities for centuries.
Just think of Popeye and you’ll see just how far back spinach has been revered for its health and power-boosting.
This fame is due to the high concentration of iron found in spinach.
One cup of cooked spinach provides up to 6.4 mg of iron.
Aside from iron, spinach comes with a plethora of other healthy nutrients as well as dietary fiber.
Oysters is good sources of iron and a connoisseurs delicacy to say the least and usually priced to match.
But if you happen to be able to afford a good helping of these succulent bivalves, you’ll be in line for a good dose of iron.
Oysters contain up to 7.82 mg of iron for every 3 oz serving.
Nothing hits the spot quite like a bit of chocolate.
That’s because of chocolate releases endorphins, flooding your body with dopamine, the feel-good reward hormone.
Aside from how it makes you feel, chocolate is also really good for something else. It contains iron.
In the case of iron, we’re going to be strictly looking at dark chocolate.
In it, purer, non-sugary, non-milky form chocolate really brings it to the table in terms of nutrition, with an iron profile of 13 mg per 100 g bar of 70% dark.
We all know iron is important, but hopefully, you now have a better understanding of exactly how it affects your health.
You now also have a dietary iron starter kit in the form of this little list we’ve put together.
Other foods that are rich in iron include:
- Baked potatoes
- White beans
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