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Best Sources Of Iron For Your Body
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Best Sources Of Iron For Your Body

Iron is a chemical element and essential mineral for human health. The body requires iron to manufacture haemoglobi...

Best Sources Of Iron For Your Body

Iron is a chemical element and essential mineral for human health. The body requires iron to manufacture haemoglobin for red blood cells and myoglobin for muscles. Both haemoglobin and myoglobin are proteins that perform the roles of transporting and binding oxygen.

 

The United States National Institute of Health recommends that iron-rich foods be eaten together with foods high in vitamin C in order to aid iron absorption. In contrast, commercial black or pekoe teas hinder iron absorption.

 

According to the British National Health Service, the recommended daily iron intake is 8.7 mg for men and 14.8 for women.

 

Best Vegetable Sources of Iron (Non-Haem Iron)

 

Pumpkin seeds: 1 ounce (28 grams) = 4.2 mg

Blackstrap molasses: 1 tablespoon = 3.5 mg

Soybean nuts: ½ cup (118 ml) = 3.5 mg

Boiled spinach: ½ cup (118 ml) = 3.2 mg

Bran: ½ cup (118 ml) = 3.0 mg    

 

Other plant sources include fortified cereals, kidney beans, lima beans, tofu, prune juice and dried apricots.

 

 

Best Animal Sources of Iron (Haem Iron)

 

Beef liver*: 3 ounces (85 grams) = 5.8 mg

Lean sirloin: 2.9 ounces (82 grams) = 2.9 mg

Lean ground beef: 3 ounces (85 grams) = 1.8 mg

Dark skinless chicken breast: 3 ounces (85 grams) = 1.1 mg

Lean pork: 3 ounces (85 grams) = 0.9 mg

 

Other animal sources include salmon, chicken (white meat) and eggs.

 

(source: Harvard University Health Services)

 

*Consumption of liver by pregnant women is not recommended due to its high vitamin A content, which can be harmful to unborn babies (UK NHS).

 

Though haem iron is more readily absorbed than non-haem iron, studies from 1999 and 2006 indicate that haemoglobin in red meat may contribute to colorectal cancer.

 

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