Knowing and Understanding Iron Rich Foods

Posted by on December 5, 2009 | No Comments

Hemoglobin is a protein that red blood cells require, and if you are lacking iron rich foods in your diet, you maybe lacking hemoglobin and be anemic. Hemoglobin carries oxygen from your lungs to all of your cells. If you are low in iron, you are lacking hemoglobin and your red blood cells are not able to do their job.

You may not even know you are lacking iron or have anemia. You may feel tired and have little energy. If you let these symptoms go checked without a blood test, you may go on feeling tired for months, even years. The best way to insure you do not have anemia is by learning about iron rich foods.

Children and young women are more likely to have anemia and need iron rich foods than men or older women. Children are growing, and maybe are picky eaters, and women loose blood frequently. If you are not in this group of people, it does not mean you can live your life without eating iron rich foods, but you will feel better if you include iron in your diet.

During pregnancy, women need two and a half times more iron than men. Women also loose blood during their period. There are many other ways to loose blood that may include all of us. Internal bleeding can be in the digestive tract, with a bleeding ulcer, ulcerated colitis, cancer or while taking aspirin for long periods. Bleeding can occur in the stomach and intestines without a person even knowing. These are conditions that should not be ignored. In addition to eating iron rich foods, it would be wise to consult a physician or medical professional, if you suspect you are loosing blood in any way.

You don’t have to eat boring foods to be sure you have iron rich foods in your diet. You can even feed picky kids without them knowing they are eating iron rich foods. By knowing a few secrets to help you, you will be able to eat what you like by just adding a few foods that are high in iron. One secret I will pass along is, drinking tea with your meal will cause your body to absorb less iron. You can substitute the tea with milk, which we all know is high in iron, or a glass of juice high in Vitamin C. It is also important that you take iron supplements with water, not milk. Waiting an hour before eating milk based products, such as pudding, will allow your body to absorb the iron supplement.

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There are so many iron rich foods, it is easy to plan meals around them. Eggs are rich in iron and can be included in meals all during the day, not just for breakfast. Fish can be included in a meal in so many different ways. Oily fish are best, but you can work with tuna, sardines, pilchards, cockles and mussels. The kidney, liver, and heart of poultry are high in iron. Now don’t get disgusted. I know many people don’t like the insides of poultry. By cutting the kidney, liver, and heart into tiny pieces, you can make delicious gravy. Beef is considered one of the best iron rich foods. Knowledge of how to cook beef must be followed.

While you are shopping at the grocery store, read labels along the isles to discover iron rich foods. Many cereals include bran, bran flakes and weetabix that can be eaten at breakfast. Beans like lentils, chick peas, haricot, kidney, pinto, baked, butter, and peas can be used in soups and casseroles. Nuts like almonds, cashews, Brazils, and walnuts can be eaten raw or added to baked goods that everyone loves. Green vegetables that are rich in iron are watercress, spinach, and dark leaf lettuce. When shopping, remember the darker the leaf, the higher the food value. Among the spices that are iron rich are gingerbread, that children love, ginger biscuits, and curry power. Iron rich foods happily include Cocoa and chocolate which are every ones favorite, especially the kids.

Bran can be baked into delicious muffins. .Here is a recipe that will help you include iron rich foods into your morning meal.

Bran Muffins (You don’t have to tell the kids)

1-1/2 cups wheat bran
1 cup milk or buttermilk
½ cup vegetable oil
1 egg
½ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon each baking soda, baking power, salt
½ cup walnuts (you may substitute with dates or raisins)

Preheat over to 375 degrees Grease muffin cups or line with paper liners.
Mix bran with milk and let stand
Mix oil egg, sugar and vanilla. Add bran and milk until blended. Fold in remaining ingredients.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool and eat.


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