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Good Food Good Health - Iron

Iron deficiency - essential nutrients, can cause you to feel tired and depressed and unable to concentrate, and to increase the stress and tension our daily body exerts from our busy lives can take a toll.

As you know, we always say that you are what you eat and that good food is good health and should be the foundation for everyone to have a healthy view of life.

I know we all get tired and unwanted at times but checking to see if you have enough iron in your diet can help.

A well-balanced diet will provide you with a variety of nutrients including iron, essential to health and well-being.

The amount of iron we need varies, but is generally 14.8mg per day for pregnant women and 8.7mg per day for men. Women need more in the diet due to the fact that 0.5mg of iron is contained in 1ml of blood and is lost during the period. Pregnant women are advised to increase to 27mg daily.

Different countries have recommended daily amounts, but your local health center can help guide you to the right amount.

Most of the iron in the body is found in the myoglobin of muscle cells and in the hemoglobin of red blood cells, where it is required for oxygen.

Therefore, not having the necessary amount can lead to insufficient oxygen, causing us to feel tired and tired, some people suffering from muscle aches and in cases of severe anemia.

Heme-iron, a protein in red blood cells derived from hemoglobin and provides oxygen to cells found in red meat. It is usually absorbed better than non-heme contained in vegetables, nuts, seeds and dried fruits.

Non-heme iron absorption is assisted when consumed at the same time as heme-iron, indicating that a varied diet is best to aid in intake.

Vegetarians and vegans need to eat more iron-based plant foods to ensure adequate supplies are needed for good health.

Taking too much iron, over 45mg a day can cause gastrointestinal problems including nausea, stomach aches, vomiting, constipation or diarrhea, but this is unlikely from a well-balanced diet.

Supplements are easy to find but it is always advisable to check with your health advisor or G.P before taking. Iron is toxic, so eating too much can lead to hemochromatosis, a very high dose of 60mg and more can damage the liver, pancreas and cause heart failure.

Enhancing your daily diet is easy and can be started with a healthy breakfast - 2 large egg supplements 2.5mg, 2 Weetabix also contains 2.5mg and this can easily be increased by 1.2mg by adding 4 dried or fresh apricots. Also at this time many cereals are enriched with minerals.

For lunch or dinner a 100g roasted ass stock provides about 3.5mg of iron, 95g of 1.5mg spinach and 120g of 2mg broad beans.

Adding extra to your diet at breakfast can be beneficial as most people drink orange juice for breakfast and Vitamin C helps the absorption of iron into the system.

Why not eat oranges at lunch or try fresh red peppers because they are rich in Vitamin C, or any other good food with high content such as strawberries, tomatoes and grapefruit.

Drinking too much tea or red wine can make it harder for the body to absorb iron as tannins in drinks that bind with minerals. Also tea is said to reduce the amount you get from vegetable sources by one third.

Calcium competes with iron in the body for absorption and 165mg of calcium can reduce the amount absorbed by up to half.

Regular use of paracetamol, antacids and laxatives can also interfere with its absorption

Frying, boiling or frying is the best way to cook iron rich vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, pepper, cabbage and others for easy absorption.

Peanut butter is a good source of raw, roasted or dried ground beans.

Other foods rich in heme-iron are turkey, shellfish, shrimp, and chicken, pork or beef. Liver is not recommended for pregnant women.

No iron found in beans and lentils, canned beans and asparagus, fruits such as apricots, raisins, peaches and prunes, and roasted potatoes with peel are also good sources.

Therefore, remember that eating a well-balanced diet gives you the best chance of receiving all the vitamins and minerals needed to provide and maintain good health.

Sandra & Ted


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