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what are all the foods needed to improve iron and vitamins?

(January 30, 2012)

Iron is one of the most important minerals required by the body to produce red blood cells. Red blood cells in turn are needed for the proper utilization of oxygen as well as to burn calories and fat. Hence, people who starve themselves as part of their weight loss diet plan may not achieve the desired results if they do not consume iron rich foods. Instead of losing fat, they will lose organ and muscle weight. A deficiency or inadequate intake of iron can also result in various medical conditions such as anemia, fatigue and lethargy even after having rested sufficiently.

Iron is an important component of the diet of adults and children, as it is required for both the mental and physical growth of the individual.

Iron rich foods that could be incorporated in your daily diet to meet the iron requirements are:

  • Meats: Meats are known to be one of the richest sources of iron, especially red meat. In fact it is observed that those people who consume red meat on a regular basis do not tend to develop deficiency of iron. The consumption of red meat in small amounts on a regular basis is advisable as it helps in both the supply as well as the absorption of iron.
  • Beans: Alternatively for vegetarians, since meat is not a feasible option, beans are can be an excellent source of iron. However, one should also keep in mind that beans are known to contain certain iron inhibitors. It is, therefore, advisable to consume beans only after they have been soaked for some time, so as to get the most iron out of them.
  • Grains: Another important source of iron is grains. Grains also need to be soaked before consumption, or else the iron inhibitors present in grains will not allow for the proper absorption of the iron content in them.
  • Fruits and vegetables: Vegetables and fruits are not known to be iron rich by themselves. They however, help in the effective absorption of iron by the body, as they are a rich source of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps in absorbing the iron that is received from plant based sources. Some of the iron rich vegetables are spinach, broccoli, cabbage, fenugreek, asparagus, romaine lettuce, Swiss chard, corn, kale cabbage, potatoes etc. Iron rich fruits include figs and watermelon. Similarly you could also include almonds and dates in your daily diet to meet the iron requirements.

Additionally, to maintain overall good health, along with the minerals and other nutrients your diet should also be rich in vitamins. One of the best ways to consume vitamins in the required amounts is to take them in their natural state as far as possible. Some of the important sources of vitamin A which is required for strengthening of the immune system and for good vision are milk, eggs, tuna and cheese. Beta carotene is also an essential vitamin that high in antioxidants and is known to prevent cancer. A diet to improve vitamin levels should include plenty of fresh green leafy vegetables, apricots, papaya, pumpkins, squash, cantaloupes etc. B vitamins should also form part of your daily diet via sources such as fish, poultry, potatoes, oatmeal etc as they help in improving nerve function.

Submitted by N on January 30, 2012 at 04:36


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