High Iron Food Sources For High Iron Diet

By | December 29, 2008

Iron Supplements And High Iron Diet

A high iron diet is usually recommended in individuals with anemia. This condition is more common in women, due to loss of blood during child birth and menstrual cycle. Anemia is a condition accompanied by a reduction in the hemoglobin levels. Hemoglobin has ‘heme’ and ‘globin’. Heme comprises of iron, whereas globin is a carrier protein. In some individuals improper absorption of iron, results in anemia. The form of iron also plays a vital role in its absorption from food. Heme iron is mainly seen in animal sources, whereas non-heme iron is common in vegetable sources. Lack of iron rich foods in the diet is yet another factor for iron deficiency. Growth spurts in children also causes deficiency of this mineral. Reduction of serum iron and certain other biochemical parameters help in the diagnosis of this condition. Typical symptoms of anemia include brittle nails, paleness, breathing difficulty, headache, cold hands and feet, fatigue and rapid heart beat. Treatment, right after diagnosis hastens recovery from the condition.

High Iron Vegetarian Diet Constituents

Supplements of iron are recommended under the guidance of a physician. Iron pills result in side effects in certain individuals. Some of these side effects include heartburn, stomach upset and constipation. Iron pills are better avoided at bedtime. Supplements are taken with food. Opt for different brand pills, in case of any problem.

A diet rich in iron containing foods with supplements prove beneficial. Foods that contain a high concentration of non-heme iron are cooked beans, lentils, blackstrap molasses, enriched breakfast cereals and pumpkin seeds. Good sources of non heme iron are canned asparagus or beans, baked potato with the skin intact and enriched pasta. Excellent sources of heme iron are mussels, clams, beef liver, pork liver, chicken liver and oyster. Good sources include sardine, beef, turkey and shrimp.

Certain foods that enhance the absorption of iron are fish, poultry and meat, broccoli, red and green pepper, Brussels sprouts, potato and broccoli, orange, cantaloupe, strawberries, grape fruit and cantaloupe. Vitamin C containing pills or supplements help to a great extent. These foods help in better absorption of iron from iron rich foods. Inhibitors of iron absorption are those that prevent the absorption of maximum amounts of iron from iron rich foods. Some of the inhibitors are spinach, sweet potato, chard, beet greens, red wine, coffee, tea, soy products, bran and whole grains. The above mentioned foods are avoided in the diet along with iron containing foods.