22nd May 2017 by Jess
Our nutritionist tells us about the benefits of iron, gives us some of her favourite iron-rich foods, and answers all your iron-related questions.
Our bodies are reliant on vitamins, minerals, essential fats, amino acids and other building blocks to steer our billions of chemical reactions that go on in our body every second of every single day, and without these raw materials, our bodies can’t thrive in the way they deserve.
Iron is a micronutrient that is found in meat, beans, nuts, dried fruit, wholegrains, soy and dark leafy greens. It has a vital role to play when it comes to great health and energy, as well as disease prevention. In fact, iron is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body.
Iron is just one mineral out of the selection of 13 vitamins, 14 minerals, 20 amino acids, various fatty acids and all the plant nutrients, known as phytonutrients, which we know deliver our body an abundance of health.
7-12 months old: 11mg a day
1-3 years old: 7mg a day
4-8 years old: 10mg a day
9-13 years old: 8mg a day
ages 13-18: 11mg a day
ages 19-64: 8.7mg a day
ages 13-18: 15mg a day
ages 19-50: 14.8mg a day
ages 50-64: 8.7mg a day
Our bodies find it much easier to absorb the iron from meat than from plants. This is why vegans and vegetarians can often suffer from iron deficiency (which is when the body doesn't have enough iron).
There are a few tips that will help your body absorb iron efficiently.
Foods high in iron include:
freeze-dried cherry pieces and chopped hazelnuts in a cocoa granola with soy protein crispies
applewood smoked British beef jerky, served with a slow-cooked tomato relish
rustic rolled oat flapjacks boosted with mixed seeds, soy protein crispies, cocoa & vanilla
pumpkin seeds in a crunchy vanilla and honey glaze
sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and golden linseeds
nutrient-packed, pure raw pumpkin seeds
hearty pumpkin seeds, roasted in a savoury soy sauce glaze
roasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds with soy sauce
pure Peruvian cacao powder, ground from cacao beans, high in iron, magnesium and copper
By Jess, graze nutritionist.
Our nutritionist extraordinaire, Jess trained at the Institute for Optimum Nutrition and is a registered practitioner with the British Association for Applied Nutrition & Nutritional Therapy. She's the creator of our health badges, to help you choose the snacks and boxes that are right for you. Check out everything from Jess on our blog, with recipes and tricks to help you keep making better choices, or go to Jess's blog at jessipes.co.uk for even more.
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