Iron is an extremely important mineral because your body needs it to produce red blood cells and transport oxygen.
When your diet lacks iron, it causes anemia, dizziness, irritability, headaches, and fatigue. On average, you should consume 18 mg per day, but the needs vary depending on your age and gender.
For example, men should consume 21 mg. Women who are menstruating should get 18 mg of iron per day. For pregnant women, this figure reaches 35 mg per day.
The foods you eat can provide two types of iron: heme and non-heme. Poultry, fish and meat are good sources of heme iron. In this form, your body can easily absorb the mineral, making it easier to increase its levels.
The second type, non-heme, comes from plant-based foods such as nuts, vegetables, and fruits. Although this variant is a little more difficult to absorb, eating more vitamin C-rich foods may help.
A cup of cooked quinoa will provide you with 2.8 mg of iron, or 16% of your daily needs. In addition to this, gluten-free, quinoa is also rich in a large number of nutrients such as minerals, complex carbohydrates, proteins, minerals, vitamins and fibers.
A single serving of oats gives you 3.4 mg of this nutrient, or about 19% of your daily requirement. At the same time, it provides folate, magnesium, fiber, zinc and protein.
Due to beta-glucan, a type of soluble fiber, you feel full after consuming oats. Also, it improves your gut health and lowers blood sugar levels.
However, keep in mind that whole grains, not processed grains, are the healthy options. When processing cereals, manufacturers remove parts containing minerals, vitamins, fiber and antioxidants.
Although there are different types of anemia, iron deficiency anemia is the most common in the world. Although poor diet is the most common cause of deficiency, inflammatory bowel disease, increased needs during pregnancy, and excessive bleeding can also lead to it.
Here are some symptoms of iron deficiency in the body:
- Unusual headaches
- Headache or dizziness
- Shortness of breath
- Dry and damaged hair or skin
- Heart palpitations
- restless legs
- Swelling and pain in the mouth and tongue
Including iron-rich foods is the best way to improve mineral intake. Including more iron in your diet can help improve your cognitive functions, muscle strength, and immune system, among several other health benefits.
Likewise, ignoring these foods can lead to its deficiency. This could give rise to a condition called anemia, characterized by a lack of oxygen in the muscles and tissues.
In conclusion, improve your diet by including the foods mentioned above, and reap the many benefits of consuming iron.