Iron plays a significant role in growth and development, especially for women. It is actively found in hemoglobin, a component of red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to muscles and other tissues. As per studies, the daily value (DV) of iron intake in our body should be 18mg. Furthermore, this mineral is vital for proliferating and maturing immune cells.
Why is iron important?
In a body, about 25 percent of iron content is reserved in ferritin, a protein present inside the body’s cells. This protein helps circulate healthy red blood cells to different parts of our body.
When iron intake is chronically low, the stores become depleted, resulting in a decrease in haemoglobin levels. This leads to an iron deficiency that can cause anemia and lead to symptoms like fatigue.
Why do women need more iron?
Menstruating women who don’t consume foods rich in iron content are particularly at higher risk of iron deficiency. A diet plan rich in Iron, Vitamin B, and Vitamin C is important to maintain iron levels & meet the daily requirements.
Below is the plan we have developed to show the type of healthy meal a woman with anemia can have to increase their iron level:
Sprout-enriched oatmeal sprinkled with raspberries, dry fruits, or flax seeds. Drink a glass of fresh fruit juice containing less sugar.
Brown rice topped with broccoli, fenugreek, and lentil sauces.
An egg bagel with salmon, spinach, and low-fat cheese.
Veg. Curry (Spinach/Kale/Peas) and green salad.
Fish Curry and green salad.
Following the same diet routine, all seven days can be hectic and provide lesser effect after a certain period of time. Read further to know other food items that are rich in iron content. One can combine these foods with their meal plans & make them tastier and more nutritious.
Food Items Rich in Iron-Content
Fish is highly nutritious, and certain varieties like tuna, salmon, and sardines contain higher iron content. The Omega-3 fatty acids present in fish support brain health, the immune system, and healthy growth. For instance, a 3-ounces (85-gram) serving of canned tuna contains nearly 1.4mg of iron content, which is nearly 8% of the DV.
Spinach is a non-heme iron. This nutritious food is rich in Vitamin C, which significantly helps our immune system absorb iron content from other food items. Also, this leafy vegetable has antioxidant properties that reduce the risk of cancer and inflammation in the body. About 3.5-ounces (100-grams) serving of raw spinach contains nearly 2.7mg of iron content, which is nearly 15% of the DV.
Legumes are highly nutritious and a great source of iron content, especially for vegetarians. Some of the common types of legumes include beans, lentils, chickpeas, and soybeans. Rich in magnesium, these food items can effectively reduce inflammation in the immune system and make digestion easier. In fact, a 7-ounces (198-grams) serving of cooked lentils contains nearly 6.6mg of iron content, which is nearly 37% of the DV.
Being a rich source of heme iron, Red Meat is an important food for women prone to anemia. Other than iron, it also contains other essential minerals such as zinc, selenium, and magnesium, which support the growth of muscle tissues and keep the red blood cells healthy. A 3.5-ounces (100-gram) serving of ground beef contains 2.7mg of iron content, which is nearly 15% of the DV.
Pumpkin seeds are a little nutty, portable snack containing higher iron content. In addition, it is a good source of Vitamin K, Zinc, and Magnesium, which helps in reducing the risk of diabetes, depression, and iron deficiency. As per studies, a 1-ounce (28-gram) serving of pumpkin seeds contains 2.5mg of iron content, which is nearly 14% of the DV.
No single food can cure iron deficiency. By eating a healthy diet filled with leafy greens, seafood, and beans can help you get enough iron and overcome anemia. At the same time, try to avoid consuming foods or beverages that block iron consumption. It includes coffee, tea, eggs, milk & dairy products, or calcium-rich foods.
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