#1 Iron In Diet : Daily Requirement, Iron Rich Foods, Causes and Symptoms Of Iron Deficiency

Iron is an essential nutrient that works as a transporter to carry oxygen by means of Red blood cells to all parts of our body. 

It also helps in sustaining the body's immunity, facilitating our cognitive ability & converts food to energy that we require for everyday functionality. Too much or too little iron in your diet can do more harm than good, so it’s necessary to know about your body's ideal iron requirement for healthy living.

Daily Body Requirement Of Iron 

Recommended Daily Iron Intake Table

Common Symptoms Of Iron Deficiency

If you're worried on iron deficiency or want to check your iron levels, here are 5 signs or symptoms that you need keep an eye on. 
  • Illusionary Fatigue or Exhaustion

Feeling exhausted even after a prolonged sleep or ample rest, that's what i refer to illusionary fatigue or exhaustion. If you find yourself in such situation rarely and not so often, then perhaps you don't need to fret. But, if it's happening on a daily basis & consistently since long time, then you need to give it a second thought as it can be due to iron deficiency
  • Excessive Hairloss

In case of iron deficiency, your body doesn't absorb enough oxygen for full body functioning, hence your body triggers the survival mode. Means the body supplies it's limited oxygen to those organs that are necessary for survival, in other words, to those organs without which you would be dead. Needless to say that hair is not one among the essentials for survival, hence you start noticing excessive hair fall and breakage.
  • Difficulty In Breathing or Shortness In Breadth

 As told earlier, In case of iron deficiency the body start lacking to transfer ample oxygen to the entire body, hence to cope up with this, the body endeavors to get more oxygen by a faster breathing rate. Which is why an iron deficient individual may get shortness in breathing even after doing simple everyday tasks. 
  • Excessively Fair Skin Or Whiteness In Tongue

 Excessive whiteness, be it on skin, Tongue, nails, eyelids or some other zones has been directly associated with iron deficiency. This is because of hemoglobin that gives the red tint falls short to reach optimally to all parts of body. 

Top 3 Causes Of Iron Deficiency

Iron deficiency occurs when your body doesn’t have enough iron, which if gets down to serve levels, it results in Anemia (aka IDA or Iron Deficiency Anemia). Iron deficiency can be caused due to multiple factors. Here're the Top 3 causes -

  • The Most Common: Low Iron Intake In Diet 

Eating an inadequate amount of iron over a long period of time can cause a shortage in your body. So, ensure eating a Iron-rich foods on a regular basis to avoid the deficiency

  • Heavy Blood loss During Childbirth or Menstruation Cycle

As stated before, Iron carriers the oxygen via red blood cells to all parts of the body, so in case of heavy blood loss during childbirth or Menstruation cycle, the body loses it’s Iron count resulting in results in deficiency

  • Low Iron Absorption Due To Diseases 

Certain diseases such as Celiac and intestinal surgeries limit the amount of iron absorption in your body, due to which even after eating sufficient amounts of Iron, your body faces the deficiency.

Whatever the cause, iron deficiency can result in unpleasant issues that can affect your balance of your life. Here are the top 5 Iron rich foods that you must include in your everyday diet for healthy living. 

Iron Rich Vegetarian Foods

  • Soybeans

Soybeans are packed with iron, serving about contain 8.8 mg per cup, so including it in your daily meals can avoid iron deficiency and related diseases. In addition to iron, soybean or soy products contain good chunk of protein, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium as well.

  • Chickpeas
A bowl of chickpeas

Chickpeas provides about 4.5 to 5.6 mg per cup and are also excellent sources of complex carbohydrates, fiber and several other plant compounds 

  • Potatoes

Potatoes especially the potato skin are great source of Iron. One large unpeeled potato contains about 3.2 mg of Iron, whereas the Sweet potatoes have slightly less iron count, containing around 2.1 mg at the same size. 

  • Pumpkin & Flaxseeds

Pumpkin seeds and Flaxseeds are loaded with iron content, containing about 1.2 to 4.2 mg per two tablespoons. 
  • Almonds & Cashews

Almonds, Cashews contains about 1 to 1.6 mg of Iron per ounce and similar to seeds, they also are loaded with other nutrients as well like protein, fiber & good fats.

Iron Rich Non-Vegetarian Foods

  • Organ Meats - Liver, Kidneys, Brain & heart
All organ meats are high in Iron. A serving of 100 gm (beef) liver gives about 6.5 mg of Iron.
They are also rich in B vitamins, copper etc.

  • Fish 
Fishes are extremely nutritious and a 85 gm of Tuna fish contains about 1.4 mg of Iron. They are also packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which have a number of health benefits.

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