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Iron Rich Foods

Updated on July 10, 2011

No one can rule out the importance of iron for the human body. Iron is necessary for the production of red blood cells, hemoglobin, collagen and amino acids. The main function of iron is to carry oxygen in hemoglobin, a substance found in red blood cells. Hemoglobin then transports this oxygen to the rest of the body's cells in our body. It helps make collagen, a connective tissue that joins body tissues together. Iron also protects the body from various infections. It is also responsible for making proteins called amino acids.

Before I list the food high in iron content, here is some more worth sharing information on iron. To skip this info and read about iron-rich foods, please scroll down.

How much iron do we need?

Recommended amounts of iron...

The Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine recommends the following:

  • Infants younger than 6 months: 0.27 (mg/day)
  • Babies 7 months to 1 year: 11 mg/day
  • Kids 1 to 3 years: 7 mg/day
  • children 4 to 8 years: 10 mg/day
  • 9 to 13 years(both boys and girls): 8 mg/day
  • 14 to 18 years: 11 mg/day for males and 15 mg/day for females
  • Men age 19 and above: 8 mg/day
  • Women older than 51 years: 8mg/day
  • Women from 19 to 50 years of age: 18 mg/day

Women who are pregnant or producing breast milk may need different amounts of iron. Ask your health care provider what is appropriate for you.

Too Much Iron

Despite the importance of iron for our body, too much iron can be toxic, which can ultimately lead to damage of the heart, diabetes liver disease and skin discoloration. The body usually does a good job of excreting excess iron, however, it is not recommended that an individual take supplements with high levels of iron.

Symptoms of Iron Deficiency

Here are some symptoms of anemia(Iron deficiency)

  • Fatigue (the most common symptom of anemia)
  • Finger nails become thin, brittle and white
  • Feeling lack on energy
  • Irritability
  • Weakness
  • Burning sensation in the tongue
  • Rapid and forceful heart beat
  • Frequent headaches
  • Severe menstrual pain and bleeding.
  • Feeling cold
  • Dryness in the mouth and throat
  • Brittle hair.
  • A strong desire to eat nonfoods such as ice, paint or dirt. This condition is known as pica.
  • Dizziness
  • Pale skin and gums
  • Disturbed sleep (mostly caused by breathlessness during sleep)
  • Sleepiness
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Low blood pressure
  • Sore tongue
  • Decreased appetite (especially in children)
  • Sores at the corners of the mouth

Causes of Iron Deficiency Anemia

Iron deficiency, which is also known as anemia(also spelled as anaemia) can be caused due to the following...

  • Strictly vegetarian diet can cause anemia as red meat and other meats are the main source of iron.
  • Babies can develop iron deficiency, especially if they are premature. Storing iron is not usually completed until the final stages of pregnancy.
  • The body needs more iron when a large amount of cell divisions occur, such as in pregnancy which can lead to a deficiency.
  • Heavy menstruation causes Iron deficiency.
  • Diseases of small intestine and ulcers can play a major role in depleting iron stores in the body.

Foods High in Iron Content

The anemia or iron deficiency in your body can be treated and cured by consuming these foods on a regular basis.

  • Clams
  • Tofu
  • Chickpeas
  • Turkey breast
  • Soybeans
  • prunes
  • Raisins
  • Liver
  • Red Kidney beans
  • Almonds
  • Cooked ground beef
  • Cooked lamb beef
  • Egg yolks
  • spinach
  • Sirloin steak
  • Red meat
  • Shrimp
  • Boiled black beans
  • collard
  • Artichokes

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    • Ultimate Hubber profile image

      Ultimate Hubber 7 years ago

      Thank you for stopping by Suzan and Stars.

    • stars439 profile image

      stars439 7 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      Thank you for the list. God Bless You

    • profile image

      suzan_oke 7 years ago

      nice article...very informative and beneficial for me...could be reference for my article...thx