The human body functions in conjunction with all systems. For good health and well-coordinated work of internal organs, it is necessary to consume a sufficient amount of vitamins and minerals. Products containing these substances will help eliminate the deficiency and have a beneficial effect on health.
Iron is part of the group of trace elements vital to humans. Despite the relatively small content in the body (up to 5 grams), its deficiency or excess in the food consumed instantly affects well-being. In order to replenish its reserves, it is not necessary to use foods in large quantities containing iron.
It is enough to replenish the nutrition plan with its main sources:
- dried fruits;
The iron content in food varies: in cereals about 3-4 mg per 100 g of product, in vegetables up to 1 mg. In meat, the iron content reaches 9 mg, and the highest trace element content in fruits is up to 15 mg per 100 g. From foods containing iron, you can cook various dishes – the trace element content from this practically does not change.
Why does the body need iron
Iron-rich foods are the primary source from which trace elements can be obtained. Only 10% of iron is absorbed from the food consumed, however, due to its high content in it, it is not difficult to obtain a daily norm of the substance.
Iron is included in the list of the most important elements, as it performs many functions in the body:
- saturates organs and tissues with oxygen;
- improves the process of transporting substances;
- reduces the risk of anemia;
- directly related to the level of hemoglobin in the blood;
- accelerates metabolic processes;
- positive effect on immunity;
- provides energy;
- supports the work of the brain and thyroid gland;
- provides full body growth.
However, excessive enthusiasm for products that contain a large amount of iron does not benefit the body. As with everything, balance is needed here.
To determine if you need to add foods that contain iron to your diet, it is recommended that you take tests and consult a doctor.
Daily need for iron
The body’s need for iron varies depending on age and gender:
- women should consume from 18 to 25 mg per day;
- in men, the indicator is slightly lower – 7-15 mg;
- the largest amount of iron is required for pregnant women – 25-27 mg per day, since a part of the nutrients is absorbed by the child;
- children are born with a reserve of this microelement, therefore, newborns up to 6 months should consume about 0.3 mg;
- by six months you need to replenish the resource, so up to a year the need is 11 mg per day;
- from a year to three years – 7 mg;
- from four to eight – 8 mg;
- a teenage boy needs 11 mg, a girl 13 mg;
- older and older people should consume about 8 mg of iron every day.
The daily intake of iron can be adjusted based on lifestyle, health status or individual characteristics. Exceeding it is not recommended, since an excess of trace elements can provoke:
- the appearance of a yellow tint of the skin and tongue;
- joint pain and swelling;
- heart failure;
- pigmentation and itching;
- pathological enlargement of the liver.
If you have these conditions, reduce your individual iron intake. If you feel worse, take tests in a clinic and visit a doctor.
What affects the absorption of iron
On average, about 10% of iron from food is absorbed by the body. This figure depends on the ability of the intestine to absorb the trace element. Depending on the foods, vitamins, and nutritional supplements you consume, your perception of iron in your stomach can be changed.
The use of such substances and products leads to a decrease in the rate of assimilation:
- alimentary fiber;
- soy protein;
By consuming these foods in large quantities, you reduce the percentage of iron that eventually enters your body. There is also food, eating which, you increase the speed of iron perception by the body:
- red meat;
- lactic acid;
- vitamin C;
- dairy products.
With products from this list, iron is absorbed better and faster. In addition to products with a high iron content, it can be presented as part of a complex of food additives, which include other vitamins. This is a great option for those who are not ready to change their diet, but are interested in enriching the body with iron.
Why is a lack of iron
Iron deficiency leads to negative consequences for health and the body as a whole. It can arise due to such factors:
- unbalanced nutrition with a high content of flour and fast carbohydrates;
- the use of incompatible products;
- pregnancy or adolescence;
- exhausting physical exertion;
- large blood loss.
By building a balanced diet and taking into account all the features of the food consumed, you can provide the body with the right amount of iron and avoid the negative consequences and diseases. For complete confidence in how many and which trace elements you are missing, you should regularly take tests.
How to determine the lack of iron in the body
Deficiency of iron in the body is dangerous to human health, since this trace element is responsible for many processes in the body. One of them is the synthesis of hemoglobin contained in the bone marrow. This protein supplies oxygen to the blood; life without it is impossible.
The following signs indicate that the hemoglobin level in the blood is underestimated:
- pallor of the face;
- dry, flaky areas of the skin;
- reduced performance;
- frequent colds or viral diseases;
- feeling of apathy and fatigue;
- trouble sleeping
- disruption of the intestines;
- trouble swallowing food;
- impaired blood supply;
- sores in the corners of the mouth (jams).
Lack of iron in the body can subsequently lead to serious diseases in the form of anemia or mental retardation (in children). To avoid problems with hemoglobin levels in the blood, add iron-containing foods to your meal plan.
Calculate how much mg of trace element you should eat daily, online calculators will help. You should also consider the need for periodic medical examinations and the importance of timely analysis. Regular health checks are important for the body, as they allow you to see the full picture of your condition.
Iron-rich foods are a powerful source of trace elements. Despite the low degree of assimilation, it is from iron-containing food products that a person can get the most substances. A diet rich in iron allows you to compensate for its deficiency, improve health and well-being.
Iron is found in various products:
- fruits and dried fruits;
Most of the element is red meat, berries and fruits. When using products containing iron, it is important to pay attention to possible health risks with its excess. Try not to focus on the high content of the element. It’s better to add some of the foods to your taste in your meal plan.
Iron content in foods
|Title||Element content per 100 g|
|Cherry plum||1.9 mg|
|A pineapple||0.3 mg|
|Dried apples||15 mg|
|Dried pear||13 mg|
|The apples||2.5 mg|
The table shows the iron content in fruits and vegetables, as it is their easiest and most common to eat. Iron in food can eliminate a number of problems with the body, playing a preventive role. By using the products in which it is contained, you maintain your body in shape, improve well-being and maintain a healthy appearance.
Iron-rich foods for anemia
|Title||Element content per 100 g|
|Pork liver||12 mg|
|Calf liver||14 mg|
|Rye bread||3.9 mg|
|Wheat bran||10.6 mg|
|Dried apricots||4.7 mg|
People with anemia are advised to eat foods that contain a lot of iron. The above foods are rich not only in this trace element, but also in other minerals and substances that can help with an ailment. Replenishing your diet with them, you can avoid the onset of the disease and contribute to its treatment.
The video describes how to take iron for anemia in the form of additional drugs.
Iron in animal products
Iron in meat is the best option for obtaining a trace element. Pig iron is one of its biggest sources. In addition, a lot of iron is found in the liver of animals.
Rating of types of meat with the highest content of the element:
- pork liver – 20 mg per 100 g of product;
- chicken liver – 17.5 mg;
- calf liver – 14 mg;
- chicken fillet – 8.6 mg;
- beef – 5.7 mg;
- turkey – 1.7 mg;
- light meat – 2 mg.
Hemic iron (from animal products) is perceived by the body two times better than non-heme (plant). Having eaten meat with a large amount of iron, you will replenish the daily rate and get the necessary elements.
Iron is also present in fish – both in the sea and in the river. High iron fish:
- anchovies – 4.6 mg per 100 grams;
- horse mackerel – 2.0 mg;
- hake – 2.3 mg;
- sardine – 2.9 mg;
- trout – 1.9 mg;
- river bass – 1.9 mg.
Fish contains a record number of useful and nutritious elements that ensure healthy skin, hair, nails and internal organs. It is believed that the darker the color of fish or meat, the more iron it contains.
Plant foods are slightly inferior to meat in terms of iron content. However, eating berries or dried fruits is easier than products of meat origin in the same amounts. You can get an element from plant products without effort.
In food of natural origin there are foods with a record high trace element content:
- almonds and pistachios (6.1 mg of iron per 100 g of nuts) can be recognized as leaders in the iron content among nuts;
- of all cereals, wheat and buckwheat cereal (8 mg) took first place;
- a record amount of iron in fruits is found in apples (15 mg) and pears (13 mg);
- vegetables rich in iron – pumpkin (8 mg) and corn (4 mg);
- iron in greens and legumes – spinach (13 mg), peas (9 mg), beans (7 mg);
- among dried fruits and berries – apricot (11 mg), blueberries (8 mg).
Iron-rich fruits are rich in vitamins that provide you with good sleep and a healthy complexion at any time of the year. They, like dried fruits, berries and nuts, can be introduced into your diet as light snacks.
Iron Nuts, Dried Fruits and Berries
|Title||Element content per 100 g|
|Dried apricots||12 mg|
|Pine nut||2.4 mg|
|Pumpkin Seeds||14 mg|
Products with iron saturate the body with forces and directly affect the quality of sleep and human productivity. If you want to add this element to your diet, you do not have to significantly change the nutrition plan or add other products to it. It will be enough to slightly correct the existing one, since iron is found in fruits with vegetables, in berries and mushrooms, in meat and fish.