When it comes to getting all of the nutrients that your body needs to function, nothing is more important than a balanced diet. This is because, when you eat from all of the right food groups, you can obtain all of the vitamins needed!
While all vitamins and minerals are as important as each other, iron is one that gets spoken about the most. This guide will focus on the essential mineral that is iron, letting you in on where to find it through your diet.
Why Does The Body Need Iron?
Before we begin, let’s shed light on why the body needs iron. Iron is known for contributing to the formation of red blood cells and haemoglobin. In simpler terms, it is needed for optimal transport of oxygen throughout your body (EFSA, 2010).
As well as assisting with oxygen transport, iron helps you to fight against tiredness, which is why many people take iron supplements. These supplements make it easy to safeguard your intake without having to worry about eating iron-rich foods 24/7.
Foods That Are High In Iron
It’s no secret that iron is most commonly found in animal products. But, to cater for all diets, we’ve included a mix of both animal and plant-based foods. This means that, no matter what lifestyle you lead, you’ll be able to obtain iron on a daily basis. Here are some foods that are high in iron:
- Chicken Breast
Those who focus on their protein know just how beneficial chicken is to have in a diet. This is the same for those focusing on iron, as chicken breasts in particular have been found to contain high amounts of iron. Whether slicing it up in pasta or having it as the main event, there are many ways to incorporate chicken into your meals.
Quinoa is an absolute holy grail for vegetarians and vegans. It is a superfood that’s stacked with plenty of nutritious attributes, including iron. It works great alongside many different dishes, but if you’re feeling lost for inspiration, check out the hundreds of online quinoa recipes available.
Legumes are another “holy grail” for vegetarians and vegans. Lentils and chickpeas, in particular, are both delicious and super high in iron. Once again, you can incorporate legumes into any meal to create a healthy addition.
- Fortified Cereal
Fortified cereals make it easy to obtain some iron at the very start of your day. Be sure to check the nutritional values when buying cereal, though, as the sugar contents might catch you out. There are plenty of options available that are low in sugar but high in iron.
There’s a good reason why we are always reminded to eat our greens – because of the nutritional value they hold! Spinach, in particular, is super rich in iron. While it might not be the most exciting of foods to eat, it should be able to provide you with more than enough vitamins. Once again, there are plenty of spinach recipes out there to help you mix things up.
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