Healthy Eating & Iron
Dietary iron is a mineral and exists in two forms; non-haem iron which is found in plant foods and haem-iron which is found in animal tissues and is more easily absorbed by the body.
Iron gives blood its red colour and transports oxygen around the body. If you don't eat enough iron haemoglobin levels will drop and the blood won't be able to carry enough oxygen to the cells. This condition is known as iron-deficient anaemia and is one of the most common nutritional problems in the United Kingdom.
What can iron-rich foods do for you?
- Aid the release of energy from food into your muscles
- Help fight infection
- Prevent anaemia
What indicates an iron deficiency?
- An unnaturally pale complexion
- Dizzy spells
- Feeling breathless after only light exertion
Who particularly needs iron?
- Pregnant women need twice as much iron in their diet to keep all the extra blood in their bodies healthy.
- Pre-menstrual women and teenagers need extra iron to replace what is lost during menstruation.
- Vegetarians may need to increase their iron intake as a vegetarian diet does not include easily absorbed haem-iron.
|Food||Serving size||Cals||Amount||GDA (%)*|
|Chicken Liver||100g||169||8.3 mg||100 %|
|Mussels||140g||146||6.3 mg||78 %|
|Kidney Beans||1/2 cup||284||2.8 mg||35 %|
|Beef||100g||181||2.6 mg||32 %|
|Sardines||100g||165||2.6 mg||32 %|
|Chickpeas||1/2 cup||142||1.7 mg||21 %|
|Bran flakes||40g||189||0.8 mg||10 %|
* GDA = 8mg. Double for women aged 14-50. Treble for pregnant women.