‘The greatest wealth is health’. Just like calcium, protein, and other vitamins are necessary for the body, iron is equally essential to make the body function. It helps produce hemoglobin and generate RBCs. Lack of iron can cause diseases like Anemia, shortness of breath, and other severe problems. Therefore, it is quintessential for everyone to consume a healthy diet full of flavor and nutrition.
If you have pale skin, cold hands and feet, chest pain, and brittle nails, then consult the doctor at the earliest. These symptoms of iron deficiency can make you weak and are essential signs of severe problems.
However, several iron rich foods can help increase RBCs, making your body energetic and back to normal in a few days. Pale skin is not only noticed when the body is low in iron but also when it doesn’t have sufficient vitamin B12. Weakness, shortness of breath, and weight loss are the common symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency.
Let us delve deeper into iron-rich foods and how they can be consumed for better health.
Why is Iron Necessary For the Body?
Iron plays a vital role in producing blood. It is needed for the growth and development of the body and is a must-present mineral to make hemoglobin. Without healthy RBCs, you can’t get sufficient oxygen in the body. Besides hemoglobin, iron also cares for nails, hair, and skin health.
Iron-rich Foods: What to Eat for Better Health and Wellness?
1. Dark Chocolate
Yay! You have another reason to eat dark chocolate anytime. It is incredibly delicious and flavorful. Do you know nearly 30 grams of dark chocolate contains over 3mg of iron? It contains prebiotic fiber that feeds the bacteria in the digestive system.
It is an excellent source of iron and offers several health benefits. Consume dark chocolate in any way; make sure you choose dark chocolate with a minimum of 70% cocoa content.
Soybeans are one of the best foods high in iron and an excellent paneer substitute. It is an ideal source for a vegetarian diet and contains over 15mg of iron per cup(100 gm). If you don’t like eating raw soybeans, try its variations like soychap and soybean. It is lactose-free and an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. A diet rich in soybeans lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease and improves bone health. Especially women who have iron deficiency should consume potential sources of iron.
Lentils, commonly known as pulses, are an excellent source of iron. Lentils are loaded with magnesium, potassium, and vitamins and are the best alternative to meat. It supports regular bowel movements and enhances gut function. One cup of lentils (200gm) contains 6.6 mg of iron and 37.62 mg of calcium.
Beans are another food that falls on the list of iron-rich foods. Kidney, navy, and black beans are rich in iron and loaded with fiber, vitamins, protein, and other vital nutrients. Beans contain folate, which is essential for the growth of the body.
Furthermore, it contains polyphenols, an antioxidant that fights free radicals that damage the body. Consume beans in any way in your regular meal and see the difference in your health within a week. Doctors usually recommend eating beans in salad to enhance overall health.
5. Cashews, Almonds, Pine Nuts
Most dry fruits, including almonds, cashew nuts, apricots, raisins, and more, are loaded with iron. These rich sources of iron should be eaten raw to get more benefits. When consumed in a regular meal, they increase hemoglobin and protect your body from several diseases.
Which is your favorite dry fruit? It doesn’t matter; ensure that you eat these sources of iron to boost your immune system and live longer.
6. Bread and Cereals
How often do you have cereal for breakfast? Maybe twice or thrice a week. Do you know the iron-rich food that you have in the morning is the best meal to keep your body energetic all day long? Include foods high in iron, like wheat bread, whole grains, and Oat cereals, to keep yourself full for longer. Also, whole grains are fiber-rich and one of the best sources to lose weight fast. The high intake of refined grains could cause problems, but the consumption of whole grains is associated with lowering high blood pressure and heart disease.
One large unpeeled potato is the best source of iron. It serves around 3.2 mg of iron and is also an incredible source of fiber. It is the most comforting food and tastes best when mixed with butter and sour cream. However, consuming excessive amounts of potatoes could lead to weight gain and heart disease. Vitamin C in potatoes acts as an antioxidant and prevents cell damage. Consuming them in moderate amounts may help lower blood pressure and improve the nervous system.
8. Green Leafy Vegetables
We are talking about iron-rich foods, and missing green leafy vegetables would be a mistake. Green leafy vegetables like spinach, beet greens, kale, and broccoli are the best yet the richest source of iron you could ever consume. When consumed in the right proportion, these iron-rich foods aid in weight loss, reduce hypertension and prevent severe diseases like cancer. These sources are rich in multiple vitamins and minerals and keep you active all day. Nearly 100 grams of spinach contains 3mg of iron, 23 calories, and 2.2. grams fat, and 3.5 grams carbs.
Well, if you are on the track of losing weight, ensure that you are aware of these weight loss myths and are not following any.