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What Foods are Rich in Iron Print E-mail
Written by Jessica Smith   
Wednesday, 19 August 2009
Iron is a very important component of the red blood cells. Iron deficiency can lead to anemia and other ailments of the body. The best way to balance iron levels in the body is by eating foods rich in iron. The following article will help you know about the foods rich in iron.
Role of Iron in the Human Body
Iron has many functions in the human body. Most of these functions are essential to remain alive! The uses of iron in the human body are as follows:

    * Iron is used in the production of hemoglobin and certain enzymes that are required for a healthy body.
    * Iron helps in the transportation of oxygen in the blood to various parts of the body.
    * Iron acts as a catalyst for many metabolic reactions that are essential for cell growth.
    * Iron is important for the immune system and the proper functioning of the liver.
    * Iron plays a major role protecting the body against the actions of free radicals.

Thus, iron is a major element that is required for proper functioning of our body. If the iron levels decrease in the body, the deficiency can lead to:

    * Iron deficiency anemia, that is, feeling of tiredness and fatigue, breathlessness, insomnia, loss of appetite, pallor, etc. it can also lead to slow cognitive and social development in children.
    * Iron deficiency can also lead to some form of deafness, reduced bone density, etc.
    * Iron deficiency also leads to impaired brain functions. This results in impaired learning abilities and behavioral problems in infants.
    * Iron deficiency is usually observed in women of childbearing age, pregnant women and teenage girls. Heavy menstruation also increases their risk of developing anemia.
    * Low iron in the body can lead to intestinal blood loss.

Iron Rich Foods
In order to maintain the normal iron level in the body, the best way way is to eat foods high in iron. People with low iron levels are always tired and inactive compared to other active people. Including the iron rich foods in your daily diet frees you from the risk of developing anemia and keeps you hale and hearty. Let us learn more about foods rich in iron.

List of Vegetables High in Iron
Green leafy vegetables like spinach, turnip greens, collard greens, kale cabbage, mustard greens are the popular iron rich foods. The following vegetables are also an excellent source of iron especially for vegetarians

    * Broccoli
    * Green beans
    * Lima beans
    * Beet roots
    * Peas
    * Potato
    * Swiss chard
    * Asparagus
    * Parsley
    * Watercress
    * Watermelon
    * Corn
    * Brussels sprouts

List of Legumes High in Iron

The following legumes can be included in your diet as a part of the foods rich in iron.

    * Kidney beans,
    * Lima beans
    * Navy beans
    * Black beans
    * Pinto beans
    * Lentils
    * Soybeans

List of Seeds and Soy High in Iron
These iron rich foods include seeds and soy that help provide the essential iron to your body.

    * Sunflower seeds
    * Soy milk
    * Chickpeas
    * Tofu
    * Soy burger
    * Cooked Spinach
    * Pumpkin Seeds
    * Pistachios

List of Grains High in Iron

    * Brown rice
    * Whole wheat bread
    * Wheat germ
    * English Muffin
    * Oatmeal
    * Cereal
    * Cream of Wheat
    * Whole wheat
    * Spaghetti, enriched
    * Raisin bran cereal

List of Animal Products High in Iron
Non vegetarians have a wide option of including foods rich in iron in their diet by eating vegetables and meat products such as:

    * Seafoods which include oysters, clams, tuna, salmon, and shrimp, etc.
    * Chicken and turkey
    * Liver
    * Sardines
    * Beef and meat
    * Chicken Liver

These were some of the foods high in iron. List of foods high in iron also include dried fruits such as almonds, cashews, raisins, prunes, dates and apricots. You can always buy food products that have labels mentioning iron fortified foods like instant noodles, pastas, cereals, oatmeal, etc. When eating iron rich foods also include foods containing vitamin C as it helps the body absorb the iron. Healthy eating habits will help maintain a healthy body.
 

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