Benefits of Iron Mineral
Iron mineral is essential for brain health and healthy growth of infants and children. Babies born on time store enough iron in their first 4-6 months. Since the need of iron for them increases after six months, it is important to feed them with iron-containing foods.
Iron absorption during pregnancy is maximum. Therefore, iron-containing foods during pregnancy should be adequately consumed. Otherwise, iron deficiency may cause premature or low weight birth. In addition, pregnant women with iron deficiency are more prone to infections. But, iron mineral acts as a support for the immune system.
Moreover, iron transports oxygen to the muscles and brain, so it has a significant role for both mental and physical performance. Iron deficiency reduces athletic performance and weakens the effectiveness of the immune system for athletes. Low iron levels may also lead to difficulty in focusing or irritability.
What is the Daily Iron Mineral Need?
Daily iron need varies by age and sex;
– 11 mg / day during 7-12 months of infancy
– 7 mg / day between 1-3 years
– between the ages of 19-50; 8 mg / day for men and 18 mg / day for women
– 27 mg / day during pregnancy; 9-100 mg / day for breastfeeding period.
Symptoms of Iron Deficiency
– Feeling of fatigue and weakness
– Difficulty in maintaining body temperature
– Pale skin
– Fractures of nails
– Dizziness and headache
– Numbness in hands and feet, cold hands and feet
– Hair loss
– Being nervous
Foods High in Iron
Liver (Giblets) and Red Meat
Liver and red meat are the best sources of iron. 50 grams of liver contains 4-5 mg iron. 100 grams of grilled steek fillet contains approximately 2-2.5 mg iron of animal origin. But its cholesterol level is high, as well. Then, you need to consume red meat carefully.
Poultry products such as chicken, turkey, duck are significant sources of iron.
1 egg contains an average of 1-1.4 mg iron. In order to increase iron level, you can eat egg with foods rich in vitamin C such as parsley, cress and mandarin.
Legume such as chickpeas, beans are rich in vitamin A, C, E. Thanks to its fibrous tissue, it protects digestive system and strengthens immune system. 1 portion of legume contains approximately 4 mg iron.
Green Leafy Vegetables
Some vegetables such as spinach and cabbage contain iron. 100 grams of spinach contains 2.7 mg of vegetable iron. Steaming vegetables allows us to benefit more from iron content in them. However, be careful not to overcook your vegetables as they may reduce their nutritional value.
30 grams of hazelnut contains 1 mg iron.
30 grams of cashew nuts contains 2 mg iron.
Dried fruits have higher iron content than fresh fruits. With a high antioxidant structure, they are also rich in vitamins and minerals. In particular, dried grape is higher in iron than other dried fruits. 100 grams of dried grape meet 23 percent of daily iron need.
2 tablespoons of molasses contain 2-2.5 mg iron.
Fish such as tuna, mackerel, haddock are a source of high protein and Omega 3 fatty acids as well as source of iron mineral.
Whole grains have higher iron content than white bread.
Finally A Few Suggestions:
In order to increase iron absorption, iron-rich foods should be consumed with foods containing vitamin C.
If spinach is consumed with yogurt, iron absorption decreases. Try to eat these separately. If spinach is cooked with egg, its bio availability increases.
Foods like liver, red meat, nuts, cashew with high cholesterol content should be consumed in a reasonable amount.
Since calcium can reduce the absorption of iron, milk and dairy products should be consumed at snack times.