One of the most important minerals to keep up your health intact is Iron. Especially in Women, it is not only required for biological aspects but also for carrying out oxygen throughout the body. Iron needs a bigger spotlight when it comes to women as they have more iron needs than men. Athletes too need more iron absorption levels than non-athletes.
Although, Iron is an essential nutrient for everyone whether men, women, or children. There is an excessive need for iron in active individuals because they require more red blood cells. In addition, most of the athletes are excessively health-conscious; they steer clear of food items containing high iron because it can lead to inadequately high intakes of iron.
Areas of Iron Improvements
Lower ferritin levels are commonly seen in our active population, specifically in women with premenopausal conditions. Among these people, 50% are females of age under 50.
Optimize Your Iron Intake With These Food Items
Many health experts recommend iron supplements for women for better absorption of iron and maintain a balance of nutrients in your blood. However, most of the people are more likely to follow the organic way. Therefore, they consider the intake of iron-rich foods. Although iron supplements are not considered bad at all. You can take them along with your balanced diet for optimal absorption of iron.
Different food items contain different amounts of iron levels in it. Likewise, certain food items help in better absorption of iron. Whereas, some other foods are there which prevents the absorption of iron in your body. In this article, we will discuss both. Let’s see.
Below are some foods that help your body absorb more iron:
Food rich in Vitamin C
According to researchers, people who take around 100mg of Vitamin C daily increase their chances of absorption of iron by 70%. The work of Vitamin C is to capture and store non-heme iron from food which stimulates easy absorption. Some food items are rich in Vitamin C such as melons, leafy green vegetables, strawberries, citrus fruits, and more which helps in easier and quicker absorption of iron in your body.
Food items having Beta-carotene and Vitamin A
Vitamin A and Beta carotene both have a drastic effect on the absorption of iron which is more than 100%. Furthermore, with Vitamin C – 200% and with Beta-carotene- 300%. These nutrients can be easily found in foods such as apricots, spinach, peaches, kale, and carrots. Numerous benefits are there of food rich in these nutrients including slows down cognitive decline, works as an antioxidant, keeps lungs healthy, and much more.
Meat and fish
Meat, fish, and poultry are three main items containing the maximum percentage of heme iron. These types of iron promote the absorption procedure for heme-iron. Their presence in our daily meal can increase the absorption rate by 3 times.
Below mentioned foods prevent the absorption of iron, which you should avoid.
Food rich in calcium
There is a myth that calcium is better for the absorption of iron, but the truth is it relatively declines its absorption by 60%. According to studies, there is no link between iron and calcium. You can avoid the excessive intake of calcium as a precautionary measure. Nobody can vouch for it as more research is required in this area. However, It is seen in many cases that major calcium-containing food hinders the absorption process.
Food items containing Phytate
Another name for phytate is phytic acid which is generally found in nuts, soy, cereals, and whole grains. Significantly, these substances can hinder the iron absorption in our bodies. However, if we eat non-heme iron food that supports the absorption process, then it’s effects can be diminished. Food items like meat, poultry, and fish can lower the effect of phytate if consumed often.
Edibles having Polyphenols
Numerous plant foods and beverages contain polyphenols such as coffee, tea, cereals, wine, and most of the fruits and vegetables. Among these food items, coffee and tea contain a huge amount of polyphenols and can decline the absorption by 70% when taken with a meal. In order to prevent hindrance, it is best to avoid taking these beverages with iron-rich meals.
Intake absorption of supportive food and space out the one hinders it.
According to health experts, there are some iron supplements for women too that increase the level of iron absorption in our body. It is advisable to take iron supplements after checking with your doctor. If you are pregnant, you can avoid the food items that hinder the absorption of iron and introduce more of the food in your diet that supports it. Use these statistics, to optimize your iron intake.