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How To Avoid Iron Deficiency

We hear a lot said about the benefits of Iron, but how many of us actually understand why Iron is good for us? Listed below are useful facts and some great tips for boosting Iron intake in your diet.

Why is Iron important??
The main role of iron is to carry oxygen around the body to supply it to tissues

Which foods contain Iron?
Lean red meat is the best source of iron, which is also found in chicken and fish. It can also be found in green vegetables, fortified breakfast cereals, bread, pulses, dried fruit and nuts. Iron absorption from food is enhanced by vitamin C.

What happens if we can not getting enough Iron from our diet?
Iron deficiency is one of the more commonly occurring nutrient deficiencies in the UK. It can affect many functions of the body, such as, thermogenesis, infection and immunity, and mental and motor development in children.

Who is most prown to Iron deficiency?
The groups most at risk from becoming deficient in iron are those that are experiencing rapid growth, such as:

  • Infants
  • Adolescents
  • Pregnant and menstruating women

Many factors contribute to a healthy lifestyle, but it is essential for everyone to enjoy a healthy balanced diet.

Great tips for boosting your iron intake:

  • Use extra-lean mince to make lasagne, spaghetti Bolognese, meatballs, cottage pie and homemade burgers. A dinner of spaghetti Bolognese with whole-wheat pasta will give you an impressive 6.6mg iron that’s 47 percent of the recommended daily intake while a burger in a wholemeal bap with salad provides 5.4mg of iron, and a plate of cottage pie, contains 3.7mg iron.
  • Go for red meat the darker the flesh, the higher the iron content. This means beef contains more iron than pork, which contains more than salmon or chicken.
  • The leg meat of chicken and turkey contains twice as much iron as the breast meat.
  • Enjoy an good-old dinner of liver and bacon with mash, vegetables and gravy. Liver is a rich source of iron. A 100g serving of fried lamb’s liver contains approximately 11g iron that’s more than three quarters the amount needed by teenage girls and women each day (except during pregnancy when liver should be excluded from the diet).
  • Start your day with a bowl of bran flakes and semi-skimmed milk. Most are fortified with iron so that a standard bowl provides about 6mg of iron. This type of iron isn’t as well absorbed as the iron in meat so add a vitamin C-rich fruit such as strawberries, kiwi or a glass of fruit juice to help the body absorb this iron more easily.
  • Wholegrain bread is more iron rich than white bread, and nuts can boost intakes so swap a breakfast of 2 slices of white toast and jam for wholemeal toast and peanut butter you’ll get 2.5mg of iron.
  • Fill sandwiches or top toast with canned mackerel or sardines for lunch. Oil-rich fish is known to help boost iron intakes.
  • Choose lentil soup with a wholemeal roll for lunch this will provide 5.4mg iron thanks mainly to the lentils.
  • Snack on a handful of peanuts and raisins and get 1.1mg of iron in just a few mouthful both contain iron
  • Serve hummus with carrot sticks a 50g serving of the dip with 1 chopped raw carrot will give you 1.2mg iron.
  • Hummus is made from chick peas, which can help to boost iron intakes.

For further details about iron rich foods, healthy living and healthy food recipes, visit meatandhealth.com, dedicated to helping you enjoy a healthy balanced diet and lifestyle.

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