Thrive/Strive

21 Super Foods Packed with Iron

It's the Stuff That Made Popeye So Crazy

Iron used to always be a mystery to me. You hear people say that you need Iron in your diet but they never explain why it is so important.

When we are overly tired or sluggish when we wake up in the morning, it may not be because of the amount of sleep we get, it could be because of the lack of iron in our system.

Iron plays a crucial role in carrying oxygen throughout your body. Every part of your body needs oxygen in order for you to perform some everyday functions. This is one of the most important aspects of getting Iron into your system.

A lack of oxygen can have detrimental effects on different parts of your body.

When it comes to muscle function, Iron is a vital component. Without Iron, your muscles won’t be able to contract and function properly. You will have stiff muscles that will not be able to bend in ways that they should.

Your brain also needs Iron. This is the most important muscle in your body. That should go without saying.

Your brain uses about 20% of the oxygen in your body and if you don’t have the Iron in your system to help carry oxygen throughout your body, your brain function will decrease significantly.

21 Super Foods Packed with Iron

Hopefully, now you can understand the importance of getting Iron into your diet.

It is time to see the different foods that you can depend on to get your daily fix of iron and each of these foods can be used in some awesome recipes so you don’t feel like you are just eating to get nutrients.

Spinach

spinach

Spinach contains non-heme iron, which can only be found in plants. It is recommended that you boil the spinach so that your body will be able to absorb the nutrients faster than it normally would although in all honesty I prefer raw spinach over cooked spinach.

Another huge benefit of spinach is that it lowers your blood pressure and helps to keep it in check.

Chicken

chicken

This is a much leaner healthier choice than most other meats that gives you the iron that is necessary for your body to begin functioning the way it can. What is so great about chicken is that it is the meat with the most recipes and different ways to prepare.

If you aren’t vegan and you like chicken then you can find a way to incorporate it into every meal if you wanted to.

I wouldn’t go that far but keeping your refrigerator well-stocked with chicken is always a good idea.

Watermelon

watermelon

Watermelon is considered a zero-calorie food. How awesome is that?

This fruit not only provides iron but multiple other nutrients that are crucial for your bodily functions. Watermelon is also a great way to get hydrated.

Beet Greens

Beets give you the iron you need and provide you with a great amount of vitamin C and calcium. When you are able to get more than just iron in your diet, you will always benefit.

Prunes

These aren’t just for old people that are trying to make sure they can use the bathroom regularly. Prunes are great when it comes to providing iron to your body. The vitamin C that is contained in prunes also helps your body absorb the iron faster.

Kidney Beans

The low-fat, high-iron content in kidney beans are a food lovers dream. If you happen to be iron deficient, the benefits of these beans cannot be overlooked.

Raisins

Giving you the energy you need, not just through iron, raisins are great for anybody. You could say they are like mini prunes with what they give your body and the way they work in your body.

Scallops

Providing a good source of heme iron, you will also get a good amount of nutrients. Scallops are also known to fight certain cancer cells that can develop in your body.

Asparagus

asparagus

Acting as a diuretic, asparagus will give you the necessary iron you need while draining your body of certain toxins that build up over time.

Oatmeal

This common breakfast choice provides you with nearly 6mg of iron per serving. This makes oatmeal one of the best possible options when it comes to giving your body the daily recommended amount of iron.

Lentils

A cup of lentils will give you about 6mg of iron. Lentils also provide you with a healthy amount of fiber to help keep you regular.

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds also serve as a great source of protein for people that want to get their protein from things other than meat.

You can buy them at any gas station, but be sure to check the food label for high amounts of sodium. It’s great that you are getting a healthy dose of both protein and iron from these seeds, but you don’t want to counter all of that with an insane amount of sodium.

One serving of pumpkin seeds will give you about 25% of your daily recommended value of iron.

Chickpeas

Since nobody else is going to say it I will. Chickpeas look like little butts.

This is considered a superfood (yes, little butts are a superfood) and it packs a great amount of iron, over 6mg per half-cup. They also contain nutrients that aid in proper digestion which is needed because what is the point of putting nutrients into your belly if you can’t digest them properly?

Broccoli

broccoli

Along with iron, you can get a good amount of vitamin C with broccoli. Yes, you can get your vitamin C in something other than an orange.

Squash

squash

Along with iron, squash contains four crucial vitamins that your body needs for optimal function, including vitamin C and vitamin B6.

80% Dark Chocolate

From one ounce of dark chocolate, you can get nearly a fifth of the recommended daily value of iron. Satisfy your sweet tooth while gaining a crucial nutrient.

Thyme

An excellent source of iron, calcium, manganese, and dietary fiber. All of these helps when it comes to your blood pressure, keeping yourself regular, and muscle function.

Tahini

Tahini looks like it won’t have much to offer, but this paste will surprise you. It has plenty of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein all of which will serve a great benefit to you.

Soybeans

Along with the high iron content, soybeans, along with other soy products, will help lower your cholesterol. They also help with the reduction for cardiovascular disease.

Dried Apricots

apricots

These are not only here to satisfy your sweet tooth. They are a great source of non-heme iron. Remember, these will also help with your fatigue and hopefully keep you awake when you are usually ready for that afternoon nap.

Cashews

These nuts are great when it comes to keeping your blood cell function in check. They also give your body the right amount of magnesium, zinc, and phosphorous.

Keeping Track of Nutrients

Your body needs a ton of different vitamins and minerals on a daily basis to function properly. In all honesty, it’s too many to keep track of. The best that you can do, if you don’t want to measure everything out, is ensure that you continue to eat well-rounded diets.

If you can pack in as many green vegetables as possible then you are putting yourself in good shape.

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