The Very Best Iron Rich Foods

The Very Best Iron Rich Foods

We’ve all heard that we need to get our vitamins and minerals from whole foods, but that can be tough to do. It’s hard to eat the rainbow every day! There are 41 purple fruits and veggies out there. My family was definitely not eating the rainbow.

Our food culture in America has this hyper-focus on macronutrients like Carbs, Fats and Protein. And, not enough focus on micronutrients and minerals like Iron. And our health is paying the ultimate toll. We need to just stop thinking of food in relation to our weight and also think of food and how it impacts our health.

Ultimately, we need to get our vitamins from whole foods the way nature intended them. This is where Mad Mom Foods is here to help! Be sure to sign up to learn more about our Kickstarter and be the first to know!

We Are Busy People

It’s not realistic to expect regular busy people to forage through the forest looking for wild mushrooms and berries or to grow our own self-sustaining garden in the backyard. While aspirationally I would love to be that person, with three kids in tow and a career, I’m lucky if I can just get through the day with everyone alive and well.

Why Do We Need to Eat More Iron-Rich Foods?

One of the more prevalent vitamin and mineral deficiencies in the US is low iron. If you’re low in iron, it can exacerbate fatigue, it can affect your cognition3 and in children, it is associated with poor cognitive development. 4

You may not even know you’re low in iron!

How Anemia (Low Iron) Impacts Behavior and Sleep:

You can be low in iron and not be anemic. However, if you are anemic, it’s important to know that Iron plays an important role in muscle function, energy creation, and brain development. As a result, a child with iron deficiency may have learning and behavioral problems.

According to Nemours’s Kids Health “People who become iron deficient aren’t getting enough iron in their diet. This means that the body can’t make hemoglobin, so it makes fewer red blood cells. This is a condition called anemia. When someone has anemia, less oxygen reaches the cells and tissues and affects how the body works.

Iron plays an important role in muscle function, energy creation, and brain development. As a result, a child with iron deficiency may have learning and behavioral problems.” (2)

The Two Forms of Dietary Iron are Heme Iron and Non-Heme Iron:

Heme iron is found only in meat, poultry, seafood, and fish, so heme iron is the type of iron that comes from animal proteins in our diet. Heme iron is more easily absorbed by our body, so if you are low in iron, do your best to eat more foods with Heme iron in them from the list below

Non-heme iron is found in plant-based foods like grains, beans, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. Non-heme iron is also found in animal products such as eggs or milk/dairy and it also comprises more than half the iron contained in animal meat. Animal protein has BOTH heme and non-heme iron.

High Iron Foods containing Heme Iron

  • Clams – 23.8 mg per 3 oz
  • Oysters – 7.8 mg per 3 oz
  • Liver per 3 oz
  • Chicken – 8 mg
  • Beef – 5.8 mg
  • Mussels – 5.7 mg per 3 oz
  • Sardines – 2.4 mg per 3 oz
  • Turkey – 1.6 mg per 3 oz
  • Beef per 3 oz
  • Extra lean ground – 2.5 mg
  • Prime rib – 2.1 mg
  • Short rib – 2 mg
  • Ribeye – 1.7 mg
  • Sirloin – 1.6 mg
  • Lambchop – 2.1 mg per 3 oz
  • Egg – 1.2 mg per 2 large eggs

High Iron Foods containing Non-Heme Iron

  • Pumpkin seeds – 8.6 mg per 1/4 cup
  • Firm Tofu – 8 mg per 3/4 cup
  • Beans per 3/4 cup cooked
  • White beans – 5.8 mg
  • Red kidney beans – 3.9 mg
  • Soybeans: 3.4 mg
  • Lentils – 4.9 mg per 3/4 cup cooked
  • Baked potato with skin – 2.7 mg
  • Chickpeas – 2.4 mg per 3/4 cup cooked
  • Blackstrap Molasses – 3.6 mg per Tbsp
  • Prune juice – 3.2 mg per cup
  • Dried fruits per 1/2 cup
  • Peaches – 1.6 mg
  • Raisins – 1.4 mg
  • Plums – 1.3 mg
  • Apricots – 1.2 mg
  • Nuts per 1/4 cup
    • Cashew: 1.7 mg
    • Almonds: 1.4 mg
    • Pistachio: 1.2 mg
    • Walnuts: 0.9 mg
    • Pecan: 0.7 mg

 

Warning: If you’re pregnant, please speak with your doctor before eating liver. Pregnant women need to be cautious or avoid eating liver because of its high Vitamin A content. Large amounts of Vitamin A can be harmful to the baby. But, always speak with your doctor before making changes to your diet while pregnant and while trying to get pregnant.

 

Looking for ways to eat more iron? Check out this list of the best iron rich foods! Also, find out why eating more iron is so important. The Very Best Iron Rich Foods

 

 

Resources:

http://dujs.dartmouth.edu/2011/02/you-are-what-you-eat-how-food-affects-your-mood/#.Wm9eaJM-fOQ

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2007/0301/p671.html#afp20070301p671-b4

2 https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/ida.html

 

Renee Seltzer
renee@madmomfoods.com

I searched grocery store shelves and online retailers like Amazon looking for a solution and I just couldn’t find snacks or bars that focused on micronutrients. I found countless protein and fruit bars, but none of them focus on solving our actual problems. So, I started making more homemade snacks for our family. I was buying hundreds, if not thousands of dollars of Superfood powders and supplements with the hope of eating healthier. Sadly, after a month or so, I would stop using them. I didn’t have the time or mental energy to make smoothies every morning or drink my moringa tea, drink apple cider vinegar water and still have the energy to pack lunches for my kids. There just wasn’t enough hours in a day! The desire was there, the time was not! We all know what to do, but just don’t have the time to do it. Then one day, I had the “aha” moment! If no one is going to create something like this, then I need to! I need to create an on-the-go nutrition bar line that has a purpose. If you need more calcium in your life, eat our Calcium Strong bar. If you need more iron, eat our Iron Strong bar. And, as I continued learning about the power of food and nutrition, I realized we need to feed our brain, our mood and our gut too! We know that foods loaded with omega-3s help to fuel our brain. We know that blueberries and walnuts are some of the best foods to fuel us. Instead of starting your day with a bagel or cereal (probably loaded in empty calories and refined flour and sugar) why not fuel your brain with seeds, nuts and berries? Give your brain what it really needs to stay focused and energized. Our bars are loaded with whole foods including fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts. These are the foods that fuel us! Eat with a purpose! Each and every bar is loaded with Superfoods, vitamins and minerals. You won’t just get calcium in our Calcium Strong bar or Iron in our Iron Strong bar. Our bars are loaded with vitamins and minerals found from real foods the way nature intended. We’ve just put them into an easy to eat bar.