To avoid deficiencies, a good diet is enough most of the time. Here is the review of foods rich in iron, by major families
“Eat your spinach, they are rich in iron” … How many children have heard this refrain? As popular wisdom knows, iron is essential for the body.
Foods with the most iron
|Foods||iron / 100 g|
|Braised lamb kidney||12|
|Poultry liver pâté||9|
|Oysters||5 to 9|
|Sardines in oil||3.3|
What is iron?
Iron is present in small amounts in the body. It is a mineral trace element found in hemoglobin (the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to each cell) and in myoglobin (the protein responsible for oxygenating muscles ). Many enzymatic reactions depend on it.
Two types of iron
There are two types of iron: heme iron found in poultry, meat, fish, crustaceans, and non-heme iron.
Heme iron is of animal origin. It is contained in foods such as meat and/or fish as well as in dairy products. It is absorbed more easily by the body: from 10 to 30% and on average to 25%.
Non-heme iron is of vegetable origin. It is that contained for example in fresh or dried fruits and vegetables, and cereals. Non-heme iron is less well absorbed by the body: between 1 and 5% only.
What are the iron requirements?
The iron needs are greater in women than in men, due to menstrual losses.
- Recommended nutritional intake for adult women: 16 mg/day
- Recommended nutritional intake for adult men: 9 mg/day
- Pregnant women see their needs greatly increased. They are systematically supplemented from the start of pregnancy.
Friends and enemies of the iron
Iron absorption increases, or decreases, depending on what you can eat during the same meal. When you know that the natural absorption coefficient is already very low, you might as well try to be careful!
- vitamin C improves absorption;
- calcium, tannins in tea and coffee decrease absorption
A cure of grapefruit seed extract, for example, rich in vitamin C can, therefore, help you to improve your iron level.
What is the effect of iron deficiency?
When the level of iron in the blood drops, this results in an impaired transport of blood oxygen.
Causes of iron deficiency
Causes of iron deficiency
- dietary intake of iron that is very insufficient;
- high iron losses;
- a problem with iron absorption from the gut
Adolescents, top athletes, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with chronic bowel disease or other chronic conditions have a greater need for iron.
Signs of iron deficiency:
- fatigue, limpness;
- loss of efficiency;
- Hair loss; and sometimes
- breathing difficulties.
In extreme cases, iron deficiency can cause iron-deficiency anemia. However, the lack of iron can be treated relatively effectively and quickly, before falling into iron deficiency anemia, by supplementation which can go through a diet targeted at foods rich in iron, especially in females. The ideal: a cure for… black pudding, or mussels!
A course of organic propolis concentrate will bring you other minerals and natural active ingredients. You can also choose food supplements.
Microalgae also contain iron
Spirulina, champion of iron
Considered for years a healthy and effective food supplement, spirulina is renowned for its richness in proteins.
Spirulina also contains an interesting amount of unsaturated fatty acids from the omega-6 family, chlorophyll (which has a positive influence on the production of red blood cells and purifies the blood), minerals, and trace elements. In addition, spirulina is the most important source of iron in the plant world: from 800 mg to 1800 mg per kg or 20 times more than wheat germ! It is all the more incredible that it has even more than animal sources such as meat, organ meats, and fish, reputed to have unequaled iron levels.
This is why organic spirulina is very interesting for vegetarians, athletes, anemic, pregnant women, and adolescents in the growth phase … in short for all populations exposed to the risk of iron deficiency.
Small flat: Spirulina does not contain vitamin C, which promotes the absorption of iron. It is, therefore, necessary to consume foods rich in vitamin C in addition to spirulina, to properly absorb this iron which it contains in large quantities.
100 g of spirulina = from 80 mg to 180 mg of iron
Chlorella is rich in iron
Chlorella is a microalga that among many other nutritional qualities, that provides a good iron content. Globally, vitamins and minerals are in an astonishing concentration in chlorella. Most vitamins are present, including vitamins B1, B6, and B12 usually found in meat and dairy products. (B12: 80 to 180 mg / 100g, E: 8 to 11 mg / 100g).
As for the mineral elements, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and trace elements such as zinc, and selenium, they are also very present in chlorella.
Remember, chlorella has a very low iodine content, which allows it to be consumed in the event of thyroid problems.
100 g of chlorella = from 40 mg to 70 mg of iron
Image Credit : Photo by Engin Akyurt from Pexels