Dark Chocolate, Broccoli, Tofu, Healthy Foods That Are High in Iron
Iron is a mineral that serves several important functions, its main being to carry oxygen throughout your body as a part of red blood cells.
It’s an essential nutrient, meaning you must get it from food. The daily value (DV) is 18 milligrams.
Interestingly, the amount of iron your body absorbs is partly based on how much you have stored.
A deficiency can occur if your intake is too low to replace the amount you lose every day.
Iron deficiency can cause anemia and lead to symptoms like fatigue.
Menstruating women who don’t consume iron-rich foods are at a particularly high risk for deficiency.
Luckily, there are plenty of good food choices to help you meet your daily iron needs.
Turkey meat is a healthy and delicious food. It’s also a good source of iron especially dark turkey meat.
A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) portion of dark turkey meat has 1.43 mg of iron, which is 8% of the DV.
In comparison, the same amount of white turkey meat contains only 0.7 mg.
Dark turkey meat also packs an impressive 28 grams of protein per serving and several B vitamins and minerals, including 32% of the DV for zinc and 57% of the DV for selenium.
Consuming high-protein foods like turkey may aid weight loss since protein makes you feel full and increases your metabolic rate after a meal.
High protein intake can also help prevent the muscle loss that occurs during weight loss and as part of the aging proces.
Turkey provides 13% of the DV for iron and is a good source of several vitamins and minerals. Its high protein content promotes fullness, increases metabolism, and prevents muscle loss.
Broccoli is incredibly nutritious. A 1-cup (156-gram) serving of cooked broccoli contains 1 mg of iron, which is 6% of the DV.
What’s more, a serving of broccoli also packs 112% of the DV for vitamin C, which helps your body absorb the iron better.
The same serving size is also high in folate and provides 5 grams of fiber, as well as some vitamin K.
Broccoli is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family, which also includes cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, and cabbage.
Cruciferous vegetables contain indole, sulforaphane, and glucosinolates, which are plant compounds believed to be protective.
One serving of broccoli provides 6% of the DV for iron and is very high in vitamins C, K, and folate. It may also help reduce cancer risk.
Tofu is a soy-based food that’s popular among vegetarians and in some Asian countries.
A half-cup (126-gram) serving provides 3.4 mg of iron, which is 19% of the DV.
Tofu is also a good source of thiamine and several minerals, including calcium, magnesium, and selenium. In addition, it provides 22 grams of protein per serving.
Tofu contains unique compounds called isoflavones, which have been linked to improved insulin sensitivity, a decreased risk of heart disease, and relief from menopausal symptoms.
Dark chocolate is incredibly delicious and nutritious.
A 1-ounce (28-gram) serving contains 3.4 mg of iron, which is 19% of the DV
This small serving also packs 56% and 15% of the DVs for copper and magnesium, respectively.
In addition, it contains prebiotic fiber, which nourishes the friendly bacteria in your gut.
A study found that cocoa powder and dark chocolate had more antioxidant activity than powders and juices made from acai berries and blueberries.
Studies have also shown that chocolate has beneficial effects on cholesterol and may reduce your risk for heart attacks and strokes.
However, not all chocolate is created equal. It’s believed that compounds called flavanols are responsible for chocolate’s benefits, and the flavanol content of dark chocolate is much higher than that of milk chocolate.
Therefore, it’s best to consume chocolate with a minimum of 70% cocoa to get the maximum benefits.
A small serving of dark chocolate contains 19% of the DV for iron along with several minerals and prebiotic fiber that promotes gut health.
Fish is a highly nutritious ingredient, and certain varieties like tuna are especially high in iron.
In fact, a 3-ounce (85-gram) serving of canned tuna contains about 1.4 mg of iron, which is approximately 8% of the DV.
Fish is also brimming with omega-3 fatty acids, which are a type of heart-healthy fat associated with a number of health benefits.
In particular, omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to promote brain health, enhance immune function, and support healthy growth and development.
Fish also contains several other essential nutrients, including niacin, selenium.
Besides tuna, haddock, mackerel, and sardines are a few other examples of iron-rich fish that you can also include in your diet.
A serving of canned tuna can provide about 8% of the DV for iron. Fish is also a good source of several other important nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.
Iron is an important mineral that must be consumed regularly as your body cannot produce it on its own.
Yet, it should be noted that some people need to limit their intake of red meat and other foods high in heme iron.
However, most people are easily able to regulate the amount they absorb from food.
Remember that if you don’t eat meat or fish, you can boost absorption by including a source of vitamin C when eating plant sources of iron.