Friday, January 14, 2011

10 Great Sources of Iron

Here are the top 10 food sources of iron, according to the USDA's Dietary Guidelines for Americans. It's worth noting that Vitamin C helps your body absorb iron from food

Iron is essential for building healthy muscles and maintaining healthy blood.

It can be a challenge to get as much iron you need in a day. Knowing which foods contain the most amount of that nutrient can make the task easier. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for iron is 18 mg for adult women, and 8 mg for men.

Surprise! Clams take the top prize for providing the most iron. Three ounces of the shellfish provide 23.8 mg of iron and 126 calories. Whether you like them raw on the half shell or cooked in your clam chowder, clams are also a surprising king of the superfoods: clams are also a top source of potassium and Vitamin B12. Clams are unlikely to be contaminated, and according to the Environmental Defense Fund's Seafood Selector, the farming of the most common clams in the U.S. (northern quahogs) does little ecological damage.

Linguine with White Clam Sauce

This includes cold and hot ready-to-eat cereals. The amount of iron you can get from cold cereals ranges from 1.8 to 21.1 mg of iron, but it's typically lower for hot cereals (4.9 to 8.1 mg), so check those labels. Ready-to-eat fortified cereals are also often a good source of calcium.

Three ounces of wild oysters contain 10.2 mg of iron and 116 calories. A true superfood, oysters are also a top source of Vitamin B12. Wild oysters can have high amounts of contaminants, and may be harvested using destructive methods, according to Environmental Defense Fund's Seafood Selector, so stick with farmed Pacific or edible (a.k.a. European) oysters. Enjoy them on the half shell, or try these recipes:

Roasted Oysters with Shallots and Herbs
Oyster Chowder
Fresh Oysters with Champagne Vinaigrette 

Organ Meats
Animal bits such as liver and giblets offer between 5.2 and 9.9 mg of iron, and 134 and 235 calories per three ounces.

A half cup of cooked soybeans contains 4.4 mg of iron and 149 calories.Parents monitoring their children's health, as well as anyone concerned about intake of estrogen, should be aware that soy contains plant estrogens that may cause health problems in high doses. Add them to a salad or try one of these recipes:

Farm Stand Succotash
Edamame Lo Mein

Pumpkin Seeds
Just in time for the Halloween, an ounce of roasted pumpkin and squash seed kernels contain 4.2 mg of iron and 148 calories. Try these recipes:

Baked Acorn Squash with Red Quinoa and Pumpkin Seed Stuffing
Pumpkin Seed Brittle

White Beans
White beans deliver 3.9 mg of iron and 153 calories per half cup. A true superfood, white beans are also a top source of potassium.

Creamy Italian White Bean Soup
Escarole and White Bean Soup
Quinoa Salad with Roasted Asparagus and White Beans
Easy Minestrone

Blackstrap Molasses


No comments:

Post a Comment