Iron is a mineral present in many foods and added to some food products. It is an essential component of hemoglobin, which transfers oxygen from the lungs to body tissues. It is also a component of myoglobin, which provides oxygen to muscles. Iron is necessary for metabolism, growth, development, normal cellular functioning and synthesis of some hormones.
Forms of Iron:
Heme: Iron from meat, seafood and poultry
Nonheme: Iron from plants, iron-fortified foods, meat, seafood, and poultry
You’ll notice that meat, seafood and poultry contain both heme and nonheme iron. Heme iron is better absorbed than nonheme. Most dietary iron is nonheme iron.
Foods that affect iron absorption:
· Meat, poultry and seafood increase absorption of nonheme iron
· Vitamin C enhances absorption of nonheme iron
· Calcium can reduce the absorption of heme and nonheme iron
Sources of Iron:
-Poultry, Meat, Seafood
-Enriched cereals, grains, beans, fruits, vegetables, tofu, squash, broccoli, nuts, seeds
So there you have it! Incorporating more food combinations can help you increase your iron levels.
The more you know!
Information a compilation from National Institutes of Health, WebMD and rd411.