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What to Eat for Iron Deficiency

Iron deficiency is a very common illness found among individuals of all ages. Here's what to eat for iron deficiency, through a healthy diet.
Iron is an element which is extremely crucial for the existence of the human body. It is because iron is present in all living cells and when it is bound to oxygen, it forms hemoglobin, which is important factor in the production of blood in the body. Therefore, when there is less amount of iron that is supplied to the body, there is reduction in the formation of blood which leads to a medical condition known as anemia or deficiency of blood.

Thus, the direct impact of deficiency or iron is on the formation of blood which is the most important factor to keep our body functioning. Like all the other deficiencies, one way to get rid of this one is to consume foods which are rich sources or iron.

What Foods to Eat for Iron Deficiency?

The total level of iron required by the body is about 3.8 gms in men and 2.3 gms in women. This level of iron is needed to produce the required amounts of blood in the body, so the entire body along with its systems may function appropriately. But when this level or iron is not met or reduced, the required amount of blood is not produced and further health problems are triggered. This low level of iron or deficiency can be due to many reasons, such as loss of blood through excess bleeding or blood donation, inadequate intake of iron through diet or because of certain drugs interfering in iron absorption. Now, even though you could use iron supplements to provide your body with iron, consuming it through a healthy diet could be a great treatment of iron deficiency.

Whole Grains and Nuts
Many think grains are very low in iron, but there are many whole grains such as wheat and oats are extremely rich in iron. Wheat germs are known to have some of the highest levels or iron required by an adult's iron requirements. About 3.5 ounce of wheat germ is said to have 6.26 milligrams of iron. On the other hand, 3.5 ounces of oats provide 5 milligrams or iron are included in this category too.

You consume them in the form of oatmeal, cookies and even in breads, which are great foods for breakfast and snacks. Barley with the same measurement gives 2.5 milligrams, corn and buckwheat provide 0.5 milligrams of iron each. Nuts such as peanuts, sunflower seeds, cashews, almonds and walnuts can be added to the list of foods that help get rid of the symptoms of iron deficiency.

Vegetables and Fruits
Though spinach is the richest source of iron among all the other green leafy vegetables, there are many others which follow very closely. There are innumerable vegetables and legume food sources of iron such as; Beet greens, Broccoli, Green beans, Chickpeas, Kidney beans, Sweet potatoes, Navy beans, Lentils, Peas, Potato, Black Eyed Beans, Tomato, Lima beans, Turnip greens, Soya beans and Pumpkin, which are iron rich sources for vegetarians. There are fruits which are also high in iron, but the levels are not as high as vegetables or legumes. These are; Apricots, Prunes, dried Figs, Dates, dried Raisins, fresh Peaches and Longan.

Poultry and Red Meat
Last but the richest sources of iron are the non-vegetarian foods such as meat, eggs and sea food. Among the meat sources, foods such as; liver, skinless chicken, lean beef, lamb, pork and turkey are very high in iron levels because their cells consist of iron as well.

Sea food is yet another classic addition of iron rich foods, thus clams, oysters, prawns, sardines, tuna, etc., include double the amounts of iron than any fruit or vegetable. Other poultry foods such as eggs, milk and cheeses etc., could have traces of iron, but aren't as rich as the lean meats mentioned above. These are some excellent sources of iron, and those who are iron deficient, should consume them to gain instant increase in your iron levels.

With these iron rich foods mentioned above, you must have listed what to eat for iron deficiency. Your diet is the best way with which you can provide your body cells with this essential element. So, make sure you eat healthy food and give your body the nutrition it deserves!
By Aparna Jadhav
Published: 3/29/2011
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