Iron is an essential component of hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen. Tiredness, anemia, and dizziness are some consequences of iron shortage in the body. The CDC recommends that males and females (up to age 50 and not breastfeeding) get 8 and 18 milligrams (mg) of iron per day, respectively. Here are the top five foods to get the recommended daily dose of iron
Soybeans are an ideal source of both protein and iron. A half-cup serving of soybeans can provide 4.54 mg of iron. One can replace meat with soybean in many dishes or add its dried version to salads for extra nutrition and crunch.
Since iron is mostly found in animal products, sourcing this mineral from plant-based food can be difficult for vegetarians. Tofu, often fried, is a staple in a vegetarian diet. A three-ounce serving of tofu can provide 4.14 mg of iron. Eating enough tofu and soybean can help ensure vegetarians get adequate iron.
People often overlook organ meats, but these are rich in vital nutrients like iron. The exact amount of iron content depends on the type of organ and its source. For instance, chicken liver contains 7.62 mg of iron, beef liver 4.15 mg, and pork liver sausage 5.44 mg.
White beans are the most iron-rich beans. A single cup serving of these provides 5.08 mg of iron. People who don’t have enough time to soak and sort raw white beans can opt for canned white beans, which contain 7.83 mg of iron. However, when purchasing canned beans, keep an eye out for high sodium content as manufacturers use it as a preservative. People can enjoy white beans on their own, in a salad, or add them to pasta dishes, stews, and soups.
Fortified Breakfast Cereals
Breakfast cereals can provide abundant iron, provided one consumes the right kind. Ideally, look for a fortified cereal that provides 100% of the recommended daily dose of iron. Sugar-heavy, colorful cereals aren’t the best way to supplement dietary iron. A one-cup serving of fortified cereal contains a whopping 18 mg of iron.
Dark chocolate, lentils, and cooked oysters are some other iron-rich foods.