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Iron

Benefits of Iron

There are two sources of iron in our diet

  1. Heme- readily absorbed iron found in animal products
  2. Non-Heme- iron found in mostly plant products that is not as readily absorbed.

Iron a part of hemoglobin in the red blood cells which is essential for the transport of oxygen from the lungs to the body. It also plays a role in maintaining and replenishing our cells. Your body’s ability to absorb iron is affected by the type of iron you eat. The most absorbable form is called heme iron which is found in animal-based foods, while non-heme iron is a plant-based form of iron that is more difficult for the body to absorb.  The majority of iron in our diet comes from non-heme food sources.

 

Food Sources of Iron

  1. Heme-meat, organ meats, poultry, fish and shellfish
  2. Non-Heme- leafy greens, legumes, nuts/seeds and whole and enriched grains

 

Did you know

The most common form of anemia is iron-deficiency anemia. Without a sufficient amount of iron in the body hemoglobin cannot be made resulting in the restriction of blood cells from carrying oxygen. Without sufficient oxygen to the body, common side effects are feeling weak, irritable, and tired. Women menstruating, infants and children, vegetarians/vegans, endurance athletes and frequent blood donors have higher risk for iron deficiency anemia. When using iron cooking utensils, it allows iron the leach into foods and therefore is a source of non-heme iron. Consuming foods high in vitamin C may also contribute to better absorption of iron.

 

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