Iron is an essential mineral for proper tissue oxygenation since it is part of the heme group that makes up hemoglobin. Therefore, let’s imagine how fundamental this mineral is in everyone’s life and, mainly, among athletes, who require more oxygen for physical effort.
There are two types of iron, the one found in foods of plant origin called non-Hem iron that is absorbed to a lesser extent (between 5 and 20%) than the iron of animal origin called Hem iron that is absorbed up to 35%. Here are the 6 foods that contain more iron regardless of the origin of the food and its absorption in the body.
Clams: 24 mg of iron per 100 grams
To our surprise, clams contain around 24mg of iron per 100 grams, which represents more than what we need daily (8mg for adult men and 18mg for women of childbearing age). What happens with these foods is that they are of little consumption in our usual diet and also have a high cost/quantity ratio.
Whole grains: between 7 and 12 mg of iron
The cereals that the market offers us today are very rich in iron due to their fortification and maintenance in the bark of the grain, its content ranges between 7 and 12 mg per 100 grams of the product. However, we must not forget that fiber and its vegetable origin significantly reduce absorption, so to optimize its assimilation in the body, I recommend consuming cereals with freshly squeezed orange juice or a little lemon rich in vitamin C.
Iron-rich organ meats: liver and blood sausage
The liver beef and the sausage produced from red blood, are excellent dietary sources of heme iron, easily absorbed, and containing about 8mg percent and 14 mg percent, respectively. As you will see, these foods contain so much iron, because of the blood of animal origin that it contains hemoglobin, which provides an iron ready to be absorbed.
Legumes: rich in non-Hem iron
Soybeans and lentils are the legumes with the highest non-Hem iron content since they have 7 and 8 mg per 100 grams, respectively. Its absorption is less than that of the iron contained in meats, but its low cost and its advantageous nutrients offer us an ideal food to prevent anemia and other nutritional deficiencies.
The spinach and chard contain between 3 and 4 mg percent low iron absorption, but as with vegetables, foods are low cost, which composition can greatly benefit the organism. In addition, when combined with citrus fruits rich in vitamin C or with a little meat, their absorption is increased so that the body uses more of its iron.
Meats that provide iron
Beef, chicken, fish, turkey, pork, and others all contain iron in amounts around 2 mg per 100 grams approximately. It is an iron that is easily absorbed and that, except for vegetarians, we all regularly include in our diet.
aking a varied diet, we can never lack iron in the diet, so the only thing we must attend to is your body requirements, which can be increased in special situations, such as extraordinary oxygen demands, blood loss, or others.
Therefore, let’s not forget that this mineral is essential for our body. And to keep it at adequate levels we cannot fail to include various foods that facilitate its availability and absorption in the body.
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