Iron-rich diets: How useful are they for maintaining normal iron levels?

28/02/2021
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People suffering from iron deficiency or increased bodily needs for this nutrient can also benefit from a varied and balanced diet. However, when iron is low, it may be useful to pay more attention to foods rich in this nutrient and follow iron-rich diets after consulting your doctor. In this in-depth study, we will find out which foods can help to maintain normal body iron levels

Iron: an essential nutrient for the body

Iron is an essential nutrient for the well-being of our body. In addition to playing an important role in the production of haemoglobin, myoglobin and important enzymes such as cytochromes, iron is the basis of the normal functioning of the immune system and normal cognitive function. Iron also plays a central role in the growth and normal development of children and adolescents

Under normal health conditions, a varied and balanced diet is sufficient to meet body iron requirements. However, some physiological conditions (menstruation, pregnancy and breastfeeding) or pathological conditions (diseases that decrease iron absorption) may lead to low sideremia or low haemoglobin values. In these cases, it is important to consult a doctor to investigate the causes of the deficiency and to set up a suitable therapy to rebalance the normal iron values in the body. In general, amongst the main remedies for iron deficiency, your doctor may recommend an iron-rich diet

Iron and diet: what foods are useful in cases of deficiencies?

Let’s see what iron-rich foods are useful for our body.

Meat

 Meat (especially turkey meat, horse meat and beef) is always the basis of iron-rich diets. Meat, in fact, contains significant amounts of haem iron, i.e., iron derived from the haemoglobin and myoglobin present in the tissues of the animal. Liver, spleen, offal and muscle are the parts richest in iron and most recommended for iron-rich diets.

Fish, molluscs and crustaceans

In addition to being a valuable source of omega-3 fatty acids, fish is also an iron-rich food. Tuna, mackerel, anchovy, snapper and sardine are some types of fish frequently found in iron-rich diets. Amongst sea products, molluscs and crustaceans can also be an important source of iron. 

Egg yolk

Eggs are known as one of the most important sources of fat and protein. Egg yolk is also an important source of iron. 

Legumes 

Legumes are valuable sources of plant protein and iron. In the case of iron, it is important to accompany the intake of legumes with foods rich in vitamin C to promote the absorption of inorganic iron contained in beans, chickpeas and lentils

Whole grain cereals and oat flakes

Whole grains and oat flakes are foods that are traditionally recommended to ensure the right daily intake of carbohydrates, B vitamins, fibre and minerals such as iron.

Mushrooms

Mushrooms, especially driedmushrooms, are a food that often appears amongst iron-rich diets. On their own, or in combination with meat and vegetables, they can be a pleasant variation as part of vegetarian or vegan diets. 

Green leafy vegetables and fruit

Green leafy vegetables and fruit are valuable sources of iron, folic acid and vitamins. Cabbage, broccoli and kiwi fruit, in addition to their significant amounts of iron, are foods that provide vitamin C, a nutrient that promotes the transport of inorganic iron within the cells of the intestinal mucosa. Furthermore, vegan and vegetarian diets require oranges, lemons and tomatoes: even though they do not contain high amounts of iron, these foods promote the absorption of iron thanks to their high vitamin C content. 

Food supplements

Your doctor may also recommend, in combination with a varied and balanced diet, the use of a food supplement. The  SiderAL® food supplement range containing Sucrosomial® Iron can be useful in cases of iron deficiency or increased iron needs.


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