Here in this blog topic by CRB Tech Reviews we write about the significance of iron rich foods and where to get them.
Benefits of Iron:
Strength: Delivery of O2, energy metabolism. Hence low iron in body results in fatigue and tiredness.
Robust: Essential in strengthening immunity. Thus, iron deficiency anaemia is linked with susceptibility to infections.
Issues for low iron stores in majority Indians is not low intake of iron but the following:
Lack of iron absorption enhancers like
Low gastric pH and low Vitamin C intake: Ascorbic acid helps to increase the acidity in the stomach thus helping iron absorption. (e.g. amla, citrus fruits, papaya, strawberries, tomato, capsicum,). Less frequently used processes like fermentation of cereals and vegetables and germination of pulses). These helps in reducing the inhibiting factors.
Prevalence of iron absorption inhibitors like
Oxalates, Phytates, and phosphates (e.g. brans, oats, cocoa, nuts, soybeans, peas,leafy vegetables) Iron-binding phenolic compounds (e.g. tea, coffee, cocoa, certain spices, certain uncooked vegetables, most red wines) Calcium (e.g. milk, cheese)
Here are enlisted some iron rich foods from each food group, giving more choices for every course!
Meat Organs and Shell fishes
Liver and heart store maximum heme iron. 30- 50 g liver or heart from chicken/beef/goat/ sheep/ pork gives you about 25-30 % of the RDA. Shell fishes such as oysters, mollusks, etc. are also very good in iron.
1-2 ounces of beef, mutton, pork gives approx 20 % of the RDA
Poultry and Fishes
Except dried fishes, poultry and fishes are very low in the heme iron content.
Words of Caution – Organ meats, shell fishes and red meat are high in cholesterol, hence should be taken in moderate amounts and avoided by people who are at risk of cardiac disease or stroke. Dried fishes are quite high in sodium content, hence must be avoided by people at risk of heart, liver and kidney diseases.
Oil seeds have lots of inhibitors, so roasting, sprouting or soaking is needed to minimize the effect of inhibitors and make iron more bio available. Garden cress seeds and niger seeds are the richest in iron content. These can be used in refreshing drinks, sweets, salad dressings, chutneys, garnishes, etc.
Dried lotus stem, karonda and sundakai used as veggies fresh pickle. Cook them in tangy gravy of tomato/tamarind or sprinkle little lemon juice; to ensure better absorption of iron.
Green leafy vegetables
Cooked forms of turnip greens, cauliflower greens, amaranth combined with vitamin C rich dressings or gravies are great in terms of better available non-heme iron. Moreover, they add other nutrients as well as colour to the plate.
Soybeans are the best amongst pulses for iron content. Soybeans in soaked, roasted or fermented forms has reduced effect of inhibitors and helps meeting the iron requirement.
Raisins and dried dates could be used to snack in between the meals to push in that extra bit of iron.
Turmeric, cumin seeds, mango powder, tamarind pulp together makes a remarkable contribution to the iron intake. However, this would be beneficial, if vitamin C content of the meals is taken care.
With this I conclude now.
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