Foods Rich in Iron
Iron is a very important element for the human body. It is a much needed element for metabolism. Without enough iron, the body cannot produce red blood cells which are essential for carrying oxygen to the rest of the body. This is called anaemia. If your body organs don’t receive enough oxygen, it will cause them to work inappropriately.
Iron deficiency symptoms
Lack of enough iron can result in iron deficiency. Fortunately, the body can save up as much as 15% of iron if you’re not taking enough iron in your diet. Symptoms of iron deficiency include fatigue, body weakness, lethargy, low concentration and low attention levels. Those who have low amounts of iron are likely to be anaemic.
Fortunately, many foods contain rich amounts of iron. However, we cannot absorb all iron content. Foods contain two different types of iron; one is called heme iron while another is called non-heme.
Heme iron is a type of iron most absorbed by people. An average of 15-35% of people absorb iron from popular foods such as red meat, poultry, fish, clams, beef, turkey, chicken liver, oysters and shellfish.
Some of the best iron rich foods might not be recommended for iron absorption. Non-heme iron is a type of iron which isn’t easily absorbed by a person’s body. Some sources of non-heme iron include cereals, cooked beans, lentils, pumpkin seeds, canned beans, pasta, baked potatoes, eggs, milk and meat.
Enhancers and Inhibitors
On-heme iron cannot be easily absorbed by the body. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t consume foods that have this iron. However, you can improve the absorption of this iron by including some foods that enhance iron absorption. These include:
• Vitamin C
On the other hand, there are foods that inhibit the abortion of iron. It still doesn’t mean that you should completely avoid these foods. But only avoid eating them after consuming iron rich foods particularly if you’re suffering from iron deficiency. Foods that inhibit iron absorption include:
• Egg protein
• Some herbs like peppermint and chamomile
Health benefits of Iron
Consuming sufficient amounts of iron has its own set of benefits to the body. These include:
1) Formation of Haemoglobin
The main function of iron is to help produce the red blood cells and haemoglobin to circulate oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body cells and then to collect up the carbon dioxide to return it back to the lungs.
2) Healthy Muscles
People who suffer from iron deficiency notice symptoms of weakness and fatigue. After consuming regular amounts of iron, you should notice a great recovery on muscle health. Iron helps supply muscles with oxygen for better muscle contraction.
Other benefits include:
• Improved brain function
• Regulated body temperature
• Stronger immune system
• Enhanced concentration
Try your level best to maintain your body’s level of iron to avoid iron deficiency and its health problems. Eat foods that enhance iron absorption with natural iron rich foods. Consuming these will not only keep you fit and healthy, but improve body functions such as the brain and all the body systems.
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