Fruits and Vegetables That Are Rich in Iron
As children, we all have seen how Popeye the Sailor Man gulps in a tin of spinach and becomes massively strong. It was a great way to influence the minds of young kids about the importance of vegetables, especially the green and leafy ones! Fruits and vegetables find their place across all cultures, cuisines and traditions worldwide. This is simply because of their composition and nutritive value. Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, calcium, B complex, selenium and other essential nutrients. Out of all the nutrients, iron is an important one.
What Is Iron And Why Is It Important?
Iron is required to form haemoglobin and thus help in transporting oxygen throughout the body. It is also required for the synthesis of DNA and acts as a medium for electron transportation in energy metabolism. Iron molecules are an important cofactor in many enzyme reactions in the body.
What Are The Fruits & Vegetables That Are Rich In Iron?
Although the rich sources of iron are mostly non-vegetarian foods like meat and poultry, certain vegetables and fruits, enlisted below are rich in iron too:
- Drumstick leaves
- Amaranth leaves
- Colocasia leaves
- Radish leaves
- Mustard leaves
- Dried Fruits like Prunes, Apricots and Figs
Other food sources of iron include fortified breakfast cereals and wholegrains and pulses. The iron in the food has two forms – heme iron and non-heme iron. All the vegetarian sources of iron contain non-heme iron, while non-vegetarian foods like meat, seafood and poultry contain both heme and nonheme iron. Heme iron is more bioavailable to the body for absorption. It is also essential to know what accelerates or promotes iron absorption and what hinders it.
What Accelerates The Absorption Of Iron?
The nutrients that accelerate iron absorption in the body are as follows:
- Vitamin C : Apart from its other known functions of increasing immunity and acting as an antioxidant, vitamin C also helps in iron absorption. It does so by aiding in the conversion of iron to its more soluble form for better absorption.
Pro Tip : Include fruits like lemon, amla, orange, strawberry and kiwi to increase the iron absorption in your diet
- Phytates : These are found in foods such as legumes, pulses and nuts that interfere with iron absorption.
Pro Tip : Soaking and fermenting the foods that contain phytates increase the bioavailability of iron in the body.
- Tannins : Certain foods like tea contain tannin that reduces the absorption of iron
Pro Tip : Do not consume tea with or after meals to reduce the effect of tannin in the process of iron absorption.
Ensuring daily iron intake in various forms from the diet is necessary. Government bodies have collated iron requirements for all stages of life – infancy, childhood, adolescence, pregnancy and lactation, and among healthy men and women. In cases where the recommended daily iron intake is difficult to meet, iron supplements are being used to prevent or treat iron deficiency.
Speaking of supplements, there are so many new iron supplements available in the market these days. One such is Wellbeing Nutrition’s Melts Nano Iron. This product, unlike the other conventional iron supplements, does not cause nausea or stomach discomfort. Infact, it is more gentle on the stomach. Besides, it enhances iron absorption, increases production of haemoglobin, boosts red blood cell formation – thus ensuring improved energy levels. Moreover, it is made using the most recent nanotechnology. All you need to do is place it on your tongue and let it melt, giving you the goodness of plant-based extracts like organic beetroot, organic spinach, organic pumpkin seeds and Acerola cherry. If you are someone who is tired of having long-standing haemoglobin issues, chronic fatigue, weakness and frequent spells of sickness, then Melts Nano Iron is definitely for you!
- Taneja DK, Rai SK, Yadav K. Evaluation of promotion of iron-rich foods for the prevention of nutritional anemia in India. Indian J Public Health [serial online] 2020 [cited 2021 Sep 29];64:236-41. Available from: https://www.ijph.in/text.asp?2020/64/3/236/295798. (https://www.ijph.in/article.asp?issn=0019-557X;year=2020;volume=64;issue=3;spage=236;epage=241;aulast=Taneja)
- How to get more iron from the diet. (https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322272#_noHeaderPrefixedContent)
- Iron, National Institute of Health, (https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Iron-HealthProfessional/)
- Abbaspour N, Hurrell R, Kelishadi R. Review on iron and its importance for human health. J Res Med Sci. 2014;19(2):164-174. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3999603/)
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