Among all the minerals our bodies need, none is more vital than iron. Iron is necessary to transport oxygen to every part of the body. Even a slight deficiency causes anemia. An ongoing deficiency causes progressive symptoms and over time a chronic deficiency can even lead to organ failure.
So how much iron does our body need on a daily basis?
|Women||Adult (age 50 and older)||8 mg|
|Adult (age 19 to 50)||18 mg|
|Lactating||9 mg to 10 mg|
|Youth (age 9 to 18)||Girls||8 mg to 15 mg|
|Boys||8 mg to 11 mg|
|Children (birth to age 8)||Age 4 to 8||10 mg|
|Age 1 to 3||7 mg|
|Infants (7 months to 1 year)||11 mg|
|Infants (birth to 6 months)||0.27 mg|
Here are specific foods to eat to boost the iron in your diet:
1. Mollusks (mussels, oysters, shrimp, and clams)
2: Liver (beef, pork, chicken, turkey and lamb)
3: Squash and pumpkin seeds
4: Nuts (almond, cashew, hazelnut, peanut, and pine nuts)
5: Lean tenderloin of beef and lamb
6: Beans (white beans, lentils)
7: Fortified cereals, whole grains and bran
8. Dark leafy greens (spinach, kale, swiss chard)
9: Dark chocolate and cocoa powder
Consult with your doctor or a registered dietitian to be sure you are eating enough iron.