Anemia is a common and often undiagnosed problem – especially among women – which can cause fatigue, weakness and even more serious long-term health problems if it is left untreated. However, a simple blood test at the doctor’s office can determine if iron levels are adequate. If they are not, then in addition to iron supplementation, there are a number of dietary sources of this element. Consumption of these foods can also boost levels of irons and restore the body to normal energy levels.
While this might not be food that most people want to eat every day, it is a good source of iron: just 3 ounces’ worth of this tasty seafood has 30% of the recommended daily allowance of this nutrient. For people living inland, it may be more difficult to find them fresh unless there is a seafood market nearby, but eating canned oysters will also provide the needed iron.
It is not surprising that spinach, which brings with it an amazing array of health benefits to begin with, should also be a rich source of iron. Another great thing about spinach is that it is easy to work seamlessly into the diet and is a great ingredient for salads, soups, pasta dishes or even as a topping for a healthy pizza.
If not keeping to a vegetarian diet, beef is one of the best natural sources of dietary iron. Just 3 ounces of this robust red meat can provide about 25% of the recommended daily allowance. For a healthy diet, choose lean cuts and buy grass-fed beef whenever possible. It can be added to soups, stews or Mexican food or eaten as is.
There are many reasons why tuna is great choice for someone trying to increase their iron intake. It is inexpensive, portable, easy to fix and makes a great lunch if served with whole-grain crackers and fruits or vegetables on the side.
Not all choices for iron-rich foods are animal-based. Apart from spinach, another excellent plant-based food choice for treating anemia is cereal. Many of the cereals in the breakfast aisle are iron-fortified and some can provide up to 100% of the recommended daily intake. Be sure to find ones that are whole-grain and low-sugar to make sure they are healthy!
If there is a good seafood restaurant in the area, go out for a treat and order a plate of crab legs. Crab is not only delicious, it is also incredibly iron-rich and although it will not meet the entire day’s recommended iron intake, it will certainly help contribute to overall healthy levels.
If white meat is preferred over red, then apart from the fish and seafood mentioned above, chicken is also a healthy way to contribute to adequate iron intake. It is not as iron-rich as beef, however, and it is better to eat the dark meat than the white, as dark meat contains more of this essential mineral.
If anemia or low iron levels is a problem, the good news is that for many people, supplements as well as dietary changes can help to alleviate this problem naturally. Consuming the foods mentioned above will go a long way to support adequate iron levels in the body.