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What Types of Iron are in Food and How to Best Absorb It?

Iron Food is essential for the growth and development of our bodies, but not all of us need the same amount of this mineral.

Iron food

The daily recommendation varies widely by age and gender and depends on whether or not you are following a predominantly vegetarian diet.

Iron deficiency is a prevalent cause of illness worldwide: when people don’t get enough iron, they can have ashen skin, get tired quickly, and suffer from headaches or iron deficiency anemia.

But foods contain different types of iron, and the body doesn’t absorb this mineral as easily from one source or another. In what way do we make sure we have enough?

How Much do We Need Iron Food?

Most of the iron in our body is present in red blood cells, especially as a component of the protein hemoglobin. Its primary function case is to transport oxygen in the blood to distribute from the lungs to the body’s different tissues.

The rest of the iron is found primarily in myoglobin, a protein that supplies muscles with oxygen, and in the form of ferritin, which is iron stored mainly in the liver, spleen, and bone marrow.

In general, our body tends to save as much as possible on iron content: unlike other minerals, it does not need to excrete only tiny amounts lost in the urine and the body.

In addition, our body’s physiological need for iron regulates its absorption to some extent. Means that people with iron deficiency tend to absorb it from food more efficiently and in more significant amounts than healthy people.

Iron Absorption is Almost Always Higher

  • during growth, as it increases body size and blood volume,
  • during pregnancy, to meet the additional needs of the baby and
  • after bleeding, including menstruation.

For reference, based on data from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH),

  • a healthy man over the age of 19 needs about 8 mg of iron per day
  • a child between 4 and 8 years old needs about 10 mg
  • a woman between 19 and 50 years old should take about 18 mg and
  • a pregnant woman needs about 27 mg

According to information from FAO, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, dietary iron requirements are almost ten times greater than the physiological requirements of our body: that is, to absorb 1 mg of iron per day, it should consume about 10 mg in the diet, to have a reasonable margin of safety.

Two Types of Iron Food

There are two types of iron, depending on its animal or plant origin.

Animal origin is called hemi or hemi iron (referring to blood), and the human body quickly absorbs it.

All meats contain it, especially red meats, and they stock in large quantities in the liver and organ meats.

On the other hand, non-hemi iron, of plant origin, is much more difficult for our body than abs or over.

Some plant foods containing the most iron are spinach, beans, peas, lentils, cabbage, and apricots (also called apricots or apricots).

Since absorption of hemi iron is not tricky, vegetarians should consume almost double the recommended amounts of iron per day for each age, according to information from the NIH.

How to Better Absorb Iron Food?

Certain foods can improve or decrease the absorption of iron from plant sources.

Vitamin C (or ascorbic acid) promotes this absorption, while alkaline substances, phosphates, lignin, oxalates, phytates, or tannins such as coffee or tea reduce it.

Accordingly, if you want to get the most fantastic nutritional value out of a good bowl of lentils, serving them with orange juice and not tea is best.

Foods with Higher Iron Content

  • Red meat
  • Birds
  • Seafood
  • Eggs
  • quinoa
  • Legumes (lentils, beans, peas)
  • Green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale)

Iron is a vital mineral for various body functions, as it is part of the red blood cells. And also which are the cells responsible for transporting oxygen in the blood. A deficiency in this mineral can cause weakness, fatigue, and pallor, which are symptoms of anemia. The intake of foods rich in iron such as red meat, beef liver, and barley bread is vital in helping to remedy the deficiency of this mineral.

However, it is essential to include those foods that contain iron

Also Read: Multiple Sclerosis? – Types, Disease, Symptoms, and More

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