Foods rich in iron according to their type


Iron is a mineral that our body needs daily to function properly. It is estimated that in adults between 19-50 years, men require approximately 8 mg., While women require 15 mg. Its most important function is the prevention of iron deficiency anemia.

We will then give you important types of iron-rich foods that you should have in your diet. Note that all iron measurements are per 100 gr. of portion.

The types of iron

There are 2 types of iron that the body absorbs through food:

Vegetable iron: also known as "non-heme iron" or "non-heme iron", is absorbed in less quantity than the animal.

Animal iron: known as "heme iron" or "heme iron", is present in both red and white meat and is absorbed up to 3 times more than that of vegetable origin.

Fish and seafood

Although red meats are the ones with the highest iron content, we should not forget the products of the sea, that is, fish and seafood. Among the products of the sea, the anchovies in oil, sardines, clams and oysters stand out, with a content close to 5-7 mg. The cockle, however, is the king, with about 28 mg, while the clams have a content of 14 g. They are, then, an excellent alternative to include iron in our diet.

Egg

The whole egg will give us 2 mg per 100 g if consumed whole, but if we only consume the yolk, its contribution goes up to 7 mg per 100 g, since the yolk has many more nutrients than the white one, which has a high water content. Although its origin is animal, it contains non-heme iron. The egg provides a good protein content.

Cereals and derivatives

In general, the iron content in the derived cereals ranges between 1 and 8 mg. However, being a vegetable product, the absorption of iron by the body will not be as effective as in the case of products of animal origin. That is why it should be supplemented with foods rich in vitamin C, as this helps improve the absorption of iron. Among the cereal grains, we highlight:

Brewer's yeast: 16 mg.
Wheat germ: 7.5 mg.
Barley: 4 mg.
Whole wheat bread: 2.6 mg.
White bread: 2 mg.

Red meats

Red meats can also provide iron to our body, and with better absorption than iron provided by vegetables. Although its excessive consumption can have non-beneficial effects on our body, sausages and certain parts of the body of the animal have a higher content than traditional cuts such as the loin or rib, even though its consumption must be limited since it also contains cholesterol. We show you some examples:

Beef liver: 15 mg.
Liver pate: 6 mg.
Foie gras: 6 mg.
Iberian ham: 5 mg.

Vegetables

Although their iron intake is lower than certain products of animal origin, legumes are generally healthier foods, so their frequent intake is recommended. However, if compared to traditional cuts of meat, its contribution in iron can be even double or triple. Among the legumes, we highlight lentils, chickpeas and soybeans. Its iron intake is around 6-9 mg.

Fruits

Although the iron intake of fruits is not the highest compared to the types of foods listed above, being so necessary for the proper functioning of the body, equally should be included in our diet as much as possible. In addition, many of them contain vitamin C, which helps a better absorption of iron in our body. Among the fruits with the highest iron content, we highlight the peach apricots (6 mg.), The grated coconut (4 mg.), The fig (4.2 mg.) And the plums (2.5 mg.).

Vegetables

Vegetables are always a healthy way to obtain nutrients and minerals, although their contribution of iron (non-heme) is not as efficiently absorbed by the body as iron of animal origin. Among the vegetables with higher iron content we can mention spinach (4 mg.), Swiss chard (3.5 mg.), Escarole (2.3 mg.), Red cabbage (4 mg.) And parsley (5-10). mg.).

Did you know...

Excessive doses of iron (hundreds or thousands of mg) can cause organ failure, coma, convulsions and even death.
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