Foods to increase your iron intake are particularly important for women because you lose blood each month during menstruation. Iron is a nutrient that transports oxygen through your blood to the rest of your body’s internal organs. Skimp on it, and you’ll be left feeling fatigued and sluggish. I know you’re too busy for that. A quick blood test can determine if your levels are low, but beefing up your diet with iron-rich foods can help give you a boost. Check out these delicious foods to increase your iron intake and you’ll see how easy it is.
Unless you’re a vegetarian, beef is one of the best foods to increase your iron intake. Just 3 ounces contains nearly a quarter of your daily needs. Choose lean steaks or ground beef to keep your saturated fat and calorie intake under control. There’s nothing I love more than a thick, juicy grilled steak, but you can also have a burger or add beef to salads, stews or burritos. No matter what you choose, your iron levels will definitely go up.
If a decadent meal out equals oysters on the half shell, you’re in luck if you’re trying to get more iron. Oysters have over 30 percent of your daily needs in just three 3 ounces. If you can’t find them fresh, consider using canned oysters in pasta sauce or a seafood taco. That way you can still reap the benefits without having to shell out the big bucks.
Canned tuna is a such an easy choice for a quick lunch. I love it on whole grain crackers with some sliced fruits and vegetables on the side. Turns out, I’m getting some iron while I enjoy my lunch. Canned tuna is super affordable and simple to work with, so anyone can incorporate it into their meal plan with ease. It’s a great addition to salad or pasta too. Stock up and you’ll be prepared to battle low iron levels any day.
Chicken isn’t as high in iron as red meat happens to be, but if you prefer it over beef, you can still get a dose of iron. Dark meat, such as the thigh, has a bit more iron than the whiter portions, such as the breast of the chicken. However, if you want to keep your fat and calorie intake low, opt for the white meat. The difference isn’t large enough to jeopardize your health goals. Chicken is great grilled, but you can use it in salads, soups, tacos, burritos and wraps as well.
There’s nothing I love more than a giant plate of crab legs when I go out for seafood. It turns out I’m really doing myself a favor by ordering it. Crab legs are a great source of iron. They won’t meet your entire day’s recommendations, unless you eat a couple dozen pounds, but they certainly contribute. And taste great at the same time!
If you need a meat-free way to satisfy your iron intake, consider buying fortified cereal. In most cases, it contains your full day’s intake recommendations in one serving. If you don’t eat meat, cereal is a great way to get enough iron without worry. Cereal makes a great breakfast, but you can also have it for dinner or use it as the base to make trail mix.
Spinach is a super delicious way to get enough iron. Use it make salads, toss it into vegetable soup or pile it on a sandwich. Sautéed spinach is a delicious side dish to serve with chicken or fish. Spinach contains more than 10 percent of the daily intake recommendations for iron.
Dried fruit, molasses, grits, tofu, beans, lentils, pork, shrimp and bread are other sources of iron. Do you worry about your intake? Which of the foods on this list is your favorite?