Iron performs many important functions in the human body as it is part of the haemoglobin protein, which is a protein that carries oxygen throughout the body, helps muscles store and use oxygen, and is part of many other proteins and enzymes in the body.
One form of iron is available in food in two forms, one of which is heme iron, which is found only in foods from animal sources, and the other source is known as non-heme iron, which can be obtained from plant foods and iron-fortified foods. It should be noted that the body absorbs heme iron better than non-heme iron.
Animal sources of Iron
- Seafood: Bivalvia mollusks such as oysters, clams, and mussels contain large amounts of iron.
- Organ meats, such as liver, contain a high concentration of beneficial nutrients, including iron.
- Eggs: Eggs, with different cooking methods, contain a good amount of iron that can be increased by eating them with white bread or wheat bread.
- Red meat: Red meat is an easy-to-obtain source of iron, and this makes it a suitable food for people at risk of anemia.
sources of Iron in plants
Vegetables contain a high amount of iron, which usually exceeds that found in animal sources, but it is a non-heme type, which is difficult to absorb in the body. It is worth noting that most types of iron-rich vegetables also contain vitamin C, which increases the body’s ability to absorb iron. Here are some types of iron-rich vegetables.
- Leafy vegetables: One cup of leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, chard, and beet leaves contains an amount ranging from 2.5 to 6.4 milligrams of iron, which covers 14% to 36% of the recommended daily amount.
- Tomato paste: A cup of fresh tomatoes contains as little as 0.5 milligrams of iron, but it rises when dried or concentrated.
- Potatoes contain a good amount of iron, most of which is concentrated in the peel.
- Mushrooms: Some types of mushrooms contain a high amount of iron. For example, one cup of white mushrooms contains about 2.7 mg of iron.
- Palm heart It is the growing summit in the palm that is at the top of the trunk, and this core is rich in fiber, potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, and folate, and also contains a good amount of iron.
- Dried prunes and their juice: Dried prune juice is a rich source of iron, which can help treat and prevent iron deficiency.
- Berries: One cup of berries contains one milligram of iron, or 5% of the recommended daily amount.
- Watermelon is a refreshing summer fruit rich in iron, as one small slice of it contains 0.69 milligrams of iron.
- Figs: Five medium-sized figs contain one milligram of iron
- Bananas and apples: One banana contains about 0.36 milligrams of iron, while an apple contains half a milligram of it.
Iron rich herbs
There are some herbs that contain iron, and we mention the following
- Dried thyme: One teaspoon of it provides 1.2 milligrams of iron.
- Cultivated cress: (Scientific name: Lepidium sativum); And 100 grams of it contains more than 40 milligrams of iron, but it contains large amounts of phytate and tannin compounds, which interfere with iron absorption.
- Alfalfa: (Scientific name: Medicago sativa); And 100 grams of it contains about 10-15 milligrams of iron, and it also contains large amounts of tannins and phytates.
These include fortified breakfast cereals; Where most of the varieties of them provide a sufficient amount of iron; It covers approximately 90% to 100% of the recommended daily amount, and these grains also contain many vitamins and minerals such as B vitamins, zinc, calcium, and fiber.