Iron is one type of mineral that is essential to the body as it aids in the production of hemoglobin, a kind of protein that lets red blood cells bring oxygen to various parts of the body. Health experts agree that an average male requires 8 mg of iron while women who are still experiencing menstruation should have around 18 mg per day.
Unfortunately, many people opt to take iron supplements rather than make slight changes to their diet. Compared to supplements, getting iron from a fresh source is much better because the source can also contain other vitamins and minerals that are essential to one’s overall health.
For those who are looking for good sources of iron, here are five foods that you should add to your daily diet.
- Oysters. One of the best sources of iron is the oyster. Eating three ounces of this shellfish means you already have 6.7 milligrams of iron in your body. Aside from iron, oysters also contain other important minerals like zinc and it also has protein in it as well. So the next time you dine out or are planning on having a new dish to serve at home, you might want to consider oysters.
- Spinach. Another source of iron that is worth adding to your dinner table is the spinach. This leafy green actually contains a lot of iron. As a matter of fact, a cup of cooked spinach is equivalent to 6.4 milligrams worth of iron. What’s more, you won’t have to worry about calories because a cup of this vegetable only contains 40 calories. Do you want to be as strong as Popeye? Well, just add some spinach to your meal.
- White Beans. This plant based food packs more than just iron. Half a cup of white beans contains 3 milligrams of iron, 500 milligrams of potassium, and 6 milligrams of fiber. Not bad for white beans. And if you think the benefits of eating white beans end there, think again. White beans also contain calcium, antioxidants, B vitamins, and lots of protein.
- Sesame Seeds. Looking for another source of protein? How about sesame seeds? A quarter cup of sesame seeds is equivalent to 5.2 milligrams of iron. Sesame seeds are quite versatile as they can be added to various dishes such as salads, and even Asian inspired meals. Take note, however, that sesame seeds contain high amounts of fat. A quarter cup of these seeds contains 17 milligrams of fat already.
- Beef Liver. If you are looking for a good source of iron then you should look into beef liver. A slice of this already contains 4 milligrams worth of iron. You can also get other essential vitamins and minerals from beef liver such as B-complex vitamins, protein, vitamin D, and vitamin A.
Meeting the recommended dietary amount of iron can certainly help in promoting better health. With iron boosting hemoglobin production, your organs are sure to receive their much needed oxygen to function better.