Iron is a necessary mineral for our organism and key for the growth and development of the body. Thanks to the absorption of iron by our body, hemoglobin is manufactured , a protein in red blood cells to transport oxygen from the lungs to different parts of the body, and myoglobin , a protein that provides oxygen to the muscles. When these red blood cells decrease in number below normal values, what is known as anemia occurs.. Anemia can be the manifestation of a hematologic disease or a secondary manifestation of many other diseases. Therefore, avoiding it and treating it in time is essential to maintain good health.
Anemia can be established acutely or chronically and the symptoms are different depending precisely on how quickly it appears. The first symptoms are manifested as a decrease in resistance to physical exercise , which is accompanied by tachycardia and respiratory distress. If the anemia becomes more intense, these symptoms are accentuated and appear with minimal effort or even at rest, associated with extreme fatigue.
About 20% of women , the50% of pregnant women and 3% of men do not have enough iron in their body. The solution, in many cases, is to increase the intake of foods rich in iron.
In what foods is this mineral found
There are a large number of foods that naturally contain this mineral, essential to avoid diseases such as anemia, which occurs when the blood does not have the necessary number of red blood cells responsible for transporting oxygen through the body.
As detailed in the NIH, this mineral can be found in:
Lean meats, seafood and poultry;
Iron-fortified cereals and breads;
Pinto beans, beans or lentils.
Vegetables like spinach.
Nuts like walnuts.
This mineral can be found in food in two forms: heme iron or non-heme iron. In this sense, the body more easily absorbs heme iron, present in foods of animal origin. To improve iron absorption from plant sources, they should be paired with meat, poultry, seafood, and foods with vitamin C, such as citrus, strawberries, bell peppers, tomatoes, and broccoli.
What is the food with the most iron
Foods rich in iron with higher levels of this mineral and beneficial for our health are:
Viscera such as liver, which contains around 10-13 mg per 100 grams.
Bivalve molluscs: such as clams, mussels and oysters, which contain about 7 mg per 100 grams.
Oily fish: such as sardines (4.8 mg iron per 100 g) or anchovies (6.7 mg iron per 100 g).
Daily iron needs according to age
From 19 to 50 years: 18 mg/day.
51 years or older: 8 mg/day.
Pregnant women of all ages: 27 mg/day.
Lactating women from 19 to 30 years: 9 mg/day (from 14 to 18 years: 10 mg/day)