Increasing Iron in the Diet
Iron deficiency often leads to anemia and its symptoms: fatigue, weakness and poor health.
If you’ve been told by a physician to increase the iron in your diet, the best source is lean red meat. The iron in red meat is more easily absorbed than iron in plant-based foods. To increase absorption of iron from plant based foods, have them with a glass of orange juice. Iron is better absorbed in an acidic environment.
Women under the age of 50 need 15 milligrams of iron per day. Infants need 6 milligrams of iron per day. Everyone else needs 10-12 milligrams per day.
3oz. beef liver has 5.8 mg.; 3oz lean sirloin has 2.9 mg.; 3oz skinless chicken breast has only 1 mg. of iron. Fortified breakfast cereals have 4.5-18 mg of iron. Hot cereals usually have higher amounts. This is more than red meat but we absorb the iron from red meat more readily. One ounce of pumpkin seeds has 4.25 mg; one tablespoon of black strap molasses has 3.5 mg; ˝ cup soybean nuts has 4 mg. of iron and ˝ cup kidney beans has 2.6 mg.