Benefits of Iron for Health
Iron is important nutrient for our body because it helps to transport oxygen throughout the body. Lack of iron would result in not having oxygen carrying red blood cells. If your body is not getting enough oxygen through red blood cells, it is bound to be fatigued. Feeling exhausted would affect your whole body including brain function and your immune system’s ability to fight off infections.
Iron is equally important for maintaining healthy cells, skin, hair and nails. Requirement of iron depends upon your age, gender and overall health. When your body is growing, in infant or toddler stage you need more iron.
Adult men should get minimum 8 milligrams of iron per day in diet. For the women (who have not hit menopause) it should be 18 milligrams per day. Hem iron, which is most easily absorbed form of iron, is available from read meat, fish and poultry. People, who do not eat these products, need to supplement it through whole grains, leafy greens. Following dietary supplements can take care of your iron requirements.
1. Spinach – Spinach in raw and coocked form can provide iron. But the cooked spinach helps more to absorb nutrients. Along with iron, spinach also provides vitamin A, E, calcium, fibre and potassium.
2. Chickpeas – one cup of chickpeas can provide you about 5 mg. Of iron. You can add chickpeas easily to your diet. Fibber in it would give you fullness while soluble fibre would help reduce the bad cholesterol i.e. LDL.
3. Pumpkin seeds – Pumpkin seeds is great source of iron. A 1 ounce (28 gram) pumpkin seeds contain 4.2 mg of iron. These seeds are also good source of vitamin K, zinc and manganese. They are also best source of magnesium. Magnesium deficient people must eat it as it helps to reduce risk of insulin resistance, diabetes and depression.
4.Quinoa – Quinoa is a popular grain . One cup (185 grams) of cooked quinoa contains 2.8 mg. of iron. It is high in protein, rich in foliate, magnesium, copper, manganese and other nutrients. More antioxidants in quinoa protect your cells from damage done by free radicals.
5. Tofu – Tofu is a soy based food and very popular among vegetarians. A half cup of tofu (126 grams) serving can provide your 3.6 mg of iron. Tofu is also source of thiamine and various minerals including calcium, magnesium and selenium. It also provides 20 grams of protein per serving. A unique compound called isoflavones, which decreases risk of heart disease.