Which Food Items Are Iron Rich

Which Food Items Are Iron Rich?

Animal-based foods, such as meats and fish, and plant-based foods like dark- green leafy vegetables, wheat, and fruits are excellent sources of iron. Animal-based foods contain heme iron, while plant-based foods contain nonheme iron. The absorption of heme iron is twice as efficient as that of nonheme iron in the intestines.

Iron Supplements

• Types. A variety of iron supplements are available. Iron sulfate and iron gluconate are the most common iron supplements. Iron supplements taken with meals can reduce stomach discomfort and improve iron's absorption in the intestines. Vitamin C enhances the absorption of iron in the intestines as well, and it can be taken together with an iron supplement. Heme iron polypeptide is a new type of iron supplement that is odorless and tasteless, and it is easier to absorb compared to iron sulfate.

• Iron supplementation for children. Stomach acid is required to dissolve carbonyl iron prior to absorption in the intestines. This acid dissolution step, which is not required for all other iron supplements, slows down the absorption of carbonyl iron in the intestines. The slower absorption rate makes carbonyl iron a safer iron supplement for children to avoid iron overdose.

• Anemia. Iron supplements can be used to treat iron deficiency anemia. The recommended daily dose is 100–200 mg for two months.

• Blood donation. Iron supplementation can shorten the time required for blood donors to recover from a low hemoglobin level to a normal level. It often takes about 80–150 days for a healthy individual to recover from donating blood. Iron supplements taken at a daily dose of 35 mg can shorten the recovery time to a mere 30 days.

• Memory. Iron supplementation can enhance learning and memory. Studies reveal that iron supplementation improves language learning and memory in teenage girls.

• Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Iron supplementation may augment social skills and learning abilities in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

• Premenstrual syndrome. Iron supplementation may alleviate symptoms of premenstrual syndrome in women. The recommended daily dose is 20 mg of an iron supplement before menstruation.

• Menorrhagia. Women with menorrhagia are likely to lose a large amount of blood during menstruation. Excessive blood loss can give rise to iron deficiency. Supplementation with iron can ameliorate the symptoms in women with menorrhagia.

• Exercise endurance. Iron supplementation boosts exercise endurance, especially in woman athletes. The improvement in exercise endurance was even more obvious in iron-deficient woman athletes.

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