Importance of Iron in the Foods We Eat - Why Food High in Iron is Important
The human body needs several minerals in order to work properly and efficiently. There are two kinds of minerals: macrominerals, which includes minerals such as calcium, sodium and potassium; and, trace minerals, which includes minerals like copper, zinc and iron.
Iron is one of the most important of all the minerals the body needs as it helps to create hemoglobin which carries oxygen to the entire body most importantly to the lungs. Too little iron can cause problems, but too much iron can also create trouble for the body. .
Depending on the age and sex of a person, there are daily recommended levels of iron required to stay healthy. It is not recommended that those levels be exceeded.
Not this kind of iron, although it's important too
How Much Iron Do We Need?
Pregnant women require the most daily iron, about 27 milligrams. Those who also need a lot are women between the ages of 19 and 50, 18 milligrams a day. Men and women over 50 only require about 8 milligrams of iron a day.
Too much iron can cause the onset of hemochromatosis, which is a genetic condition. This condition can cause organs to shut down and can cause liver cancer.
Less serious conditions that an overdose of iron can cause are indigestion and constipation.
Foods with Iron
There are several foods that provide iron, some may surprise you.
- Most meat, especially red meat
- Tuna and salmon
- Baked potato with the skin
- Dried fruit
- Green, leafy vegetables like spinach
- Whole grains
There are many over-the-counter iron supplements but as with most things, natural sources of iron are preferred.
Dried fruits such as raisins, apricots and prunes are an excellent source of iron. There are many commercial products of dried fruits that can by bought in supermarkets. There are also places where dried fruits can be bought in bulk. Or, the more industrious person can dry their own fruits.
8 dried apricots contain 2.1 milligrams of iron.
Eggs are another good source of iron. There is no limit to what can be done with the simple egg. They can make a tasty and healthy omelet, they can be hard boiled and made into egg salad, they can be poached and used in Eggs Benedict, or they can be drunk in a drink such as egg nog.
Eggs got a bad reputation in the fight against high cholesterol but they have been proven not to be such a danger as previously thought. The average person can have up to 5 eggs a week.
1 boiled egg contains 1.3 milligrams of iron.
Salmon is a good source of iron, it can also lower bad cholesterol.
Salmon is one of the most flavorful fish. It can be cooked in a number of tasty and appealing ways. It can be baked, poached, steamed, and fried. Of course, if it's fried a low-fat oil such as olive oil should be used.
Salmon contains approximately 0.6 milligrams of iron.
If a proper diet is followed, getting as much iron as the body needs should be very easy. It's also a lot more interesting and tasty than taking a supplement.