At present, near about 30% of people around the world suffer from iron deficiency. Low iron levels hinder physical and mental growth. The iron-deficient people feel difficulty with day-to-day tasks as they experience constant headaches and dizziness. Their nails get brittle, and their skin complexion turns yellow or pale. Iron-deficiency also takes a toll on mental health and can harm memory. Hence, it is crucial to intake a good amount of iron or heme to stay fit and fine.
There are two sorts of edible iron; heme and non-heme The first one (heme iron) is found in animals and easily absorbed by our gastrointestinal tract. Conversely, non-heme iron is found in both plants as well as animals. This form of iron is a bit difficult to absorb. In simple words, heme iron is more efficient than non-heme iron and can increase your iron status at a faster rate.
Iron performs many jobs towards our well-being. It helps in transporting oxygen to every organ of the body. You would be surprised to know that about 65% of the iron in your body is present in hemoglobin (a blood protein), and about 6% of iron is found in myoglobin (a muscle protein). Hemoglobin’s function is to supply oxygen to the body cells, and myoglobin transport oxygen to the muscles.
According to the research, the iron RDA of males is different from females. Men over 18 need about 8mg of iron per day, whereas women between 18 to 50 require 14.8 mg of iron every day. If this much iron needs not to be fulfilled solely by foods, the physician prescribes iron supplement dosage for adults. Apart from iron supplements, iron-deficient people also need to consume iron absorption foods to increase their iron content. Here we are going to shed light on foods that can promote and inhibit the absorption of iron.
Foods That Boost Absorption Of Iron
Vitamin C Rich-Foods
Vitamin C, such as oranges, lemon, lime, melons, green leafy vegetables, etc., is the efficient way to accelerate the iron absorption mechanism. This vitamin converts the non-heme iron into an easily absorbed form and prevents you from iron deficiency anemia.
Foods Containing Beta-Carotene
The new studies have found that beta-carotene also boosts the absorption of iron. It is a vitamin that is found in myriad vegetables and fruits (especially colorful ones). Carrot, spinach, The new studies have found that beta-carotene also boosts the absorption of iron. It is a vitamin that is found in myriad vegetables and fruits (especially colorful ones). Carrot, spinach, tomatoes, celery, etc., are some excellent sources of beta-carotene. For best results, try to eat these vegetables raw. Our body converts beta carotene into vitamin A and keeps the eyesight and bones healthy.
Meat & Poultry Products
Animal meat, poultry products, and fish contain abundant amounts of heme iron. If your body’s content is extremely low, it would be better to go with heme iron foods. The readily absorbed heme iron is obtained from the hemoglobin of the animals.
Foods That Hinder Absorption Of Iron
Phytate Rich Foods
Phytic acid also affects iron absorption. This acid is present in whole grains, soy, nuts, seeds, and many other foods derived from plants. If you aim to increase your iron status, then you have to limit such foods.
Foods Containing Calcium
Calcium restrains your body from absorbing iron. Therefore, you should avoid eating calcium-rich foods with iron supplements or meals that contain a good amount of iron.
Tea, coffee, chocolate, and soda are full of caffeine, which is not good for iron absorption. If you do not limit the intake of caffeine, you can become prey to iron-deficiency anemia.
You should avoid beet greens, bananas, cocoa powder, beets, etc., to increase the process of absorption of iron in you.
Foods Containing Gluten
People who take gluten-rich foods experience intestinal issues often, and damaged intestinal lining results in poor absorption of both heme and non-heme iron.
The Bottom Line:
Including vitamin A, vitamin C, and beta carotene-rich foods in your daily meal can enhance iron absorption. These nutrients will elevate your iron content and improve your health.