A study on the importance of iron-rich foods and what happens in case of a deficiency of this mineral. This study was published by Roberto Rice on May 16, 2018 on the Italian website inran , and the following is what is mentioned in this study.
Iron Rich Foods – Why Do We Have Iron Deficiency?
Iron deficiency is a very common condition among the Italian population. Fortunately, however, there is a simple thing that can be done to restore the normal levels of this mineral within our body. Diet can provide a useful treatment to restore normal levels of iron in the blood, but you must first know and determine the total amount of iron needed, its biological presence, or the actual percentage of iron that our body is able to absorb.
What are the factors that affect iron absorption
This should prompt you to think broader and more fully. It is not enough to understand what foods are rich in iron, but rather it is necessary to understand what factors can positively or negatively affect the absorption of this mineral.
Let’s start with factors that can increase iron absorption and thus can be of good help. In principle, it increases the body’s ability to assimilate iron, we are talking about foods rich in vitamin C, sugars and amino acids. All of them guarantee greater iron absorption.
On the other hand, there are several elements that reduce iron absorption. Among the most important ones, are the deficiency of phytic acid, oxalic acid and oxalates, all of these substances can be found in plant foods, especially cocoa or even in whole grains, spinach, legumes and so on.
When we think of spinach, it is rich in iron. Moreover, the presence of other minerals, which can “compete” with iron, can reduce the ability to absorb iron such as zinc, calcium etc.
What foods are rich in iron
Iron-rich foods: what are they?
By calculating the presence of iron in milligrams per 100 grams of product (values below) we can summarize that most foods rich in iron are:
- Goose liver: 30.53 mg / 100 g
- Dark bitter chocolate: 17.4 mg / 100 g
- Clam: 13.98 mg / 100 g
- Bitter Cocoa: 13.86 mg / 100g
- Caviar: 11.88 mg / 100 g
- Chicken meat: 9.19 mg / 100 g
- Nuts: 8.75 mg / 100 g
- Lentils: 7.54 mg / 100g
- Oysters: 6.66 mg / 100g
- Soy flour: 6.37 mg / 100 g
- Wheat germ: 6.26 mg / 100 g
- Chicken – thigh: 6.25 mg / 100 g
- Chickpeas: 6.24 mg / 100g
- Boiled potato: 6.07 mg / 100g
- Squid: 6.02 mg / 100 g
- Dried pine nuts: 5.53 mg / 100 g
- Oat flakes: 4.72 mg / 100 g
- Hazelnuts: 4.70 mg / 100 g
- Anchovy fish oil: 4.63 mg / 100 g
- Peanuts: 4.58 mg / 100 g
- Durum wheat: 4.56 mg / 100 g
- Dried almonds: 4.51 mg / 100 g
- Hazelnut and cocoa cream: 4.38 mg / 100 g
Why do we suffer from iron deficiency?
Asked what causes many individuals to have iron deficiency. Certainly, these main reasons are related to nutrition: a diet low in iron, such as one that lacks meat, and may rely mainly on whole grains and vegetables, can lead to a severe iron deficiency. The same is true for those who follow the roughage diet, which is generally recommended to improve bowel function.
Other typical conditions of iron deficiency are also caused by excessive blood loss such as during heavy menstrual cycles, as well as during pregnancy, lactation and endurance sports.
In the case of severe iron deficiency, it is not possible to restore the normal proportion in the body in a short time, so we often have to rely – after advice and medical evaluation – to also take nutritional supplements based on this mineral. Treatment includes giving external sources of iron, which helps to provide an adequate source of this mineral.
Iron-rich foodstuffs to replace iron
The basic advice for dealing with iron deficiency in all its mild and severe cases still includes proper care and dietary attention. Suffice it to say that the vitamin C in a cup of orange juice can triple the body’s ability to absorb iron at breakfast. Therefore, it can only suffice to follow a series of precautions and tips for preparing a diet that can guarantee you good amounts of iron in line with your needs.
Finally, and for the above reasons, it is necessary to point out that taking iron supplements should be done after taking medical advice, and only after special blood tests that can provide correct data for the amount of iron and the percentage of deficiency in your body. Only in this way is it actually possible to determine exactly how much iron is deficient in your body, and how appropriate it is to reintegrate this mineral.
Learn the symptoms of iron deficiency
Remember, typical symptoms resulting from iron deficiency are weakness, sleepiness, and excessive fatigue during activities of daily living, in addition to shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat, allergies, infections in the respiratory system (such as colds), paleness, ulcers on the tongue, and headache.
In more advanced cases of iron deficiency, you will actually experience a completely unhealthy general condition, with hair loss, reduced pain threshold and severe paleness. So talk to your doctor if you notice that you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms listed above.