Iron is the best described amongst all the micronutrients. It is an essential component of numerous enzymes and proteins, and is major element in the metabolism of living organisms. By making use of the Iron rich foods list below it is hoped that you will be able to easily incorporate this important mineral into your daily diet.
Hemoglobin, which is the primary protein in red blood cells, is responsible in transporting oxygen from the lungs to the other parts of the body. Hemoglobin has a unique ability to acquire oxygen in a rapid manner during the short time it comes in contact with the lungs, and then releases oxygen upon its circulation through the tissues. Myoglobin aids in matching the supply of oxygen to the amount needed by working muscles. The main function of myoglobin is to conduct short term storage and transport of oxygen in muscle cells.
Although most individuals in the United States obtain enough iron from their diet, there are still cases of iron deficiency due to insufficient intake of this vital mineral. Iron deficiency anemia is common among children and women and shows symptoms that include fatigue and feeling weak. However, excessive intake of iron is also harmful as it has been associated with a higher risk of heart disease.
Iron Rich Foods List
Heme and non-heme are the two forms of dietary iron. Heme iron is derived from hemoglobin, which is primarily responsible in delivering oxygen to the cells. This iron form is highly absorbed by the body and is found in foods that originally contain hemoglobin such as:
Iron Rich Foods
|Beef, chuck, blade roast||85||2.63|
|Beef, cured, dried||28.3||0.82|
|Beef, ground, 80% lean meat / 20% fat||85||2.11|
|Beef, rib, whole||85||1.99|
|Chicken, broilers or fryers||98||1.17|
|Pork and beef sausage||26||0.29|
|Pork, fresh, backribs||85||1.17|
|Turkey, all classes||84||1.96|
The non-heme iron on the other hand, is the dietary form of iron that is found in plant foods and is arranged in a particular chemical structure. This is the iron form that is being added to iron fortified and iron enriched foods. Most dietary iron belongs under this category and is described in the following iron rich foods list:
Iron Rich Food
|Alcoholic beverage, wine, dessert, sweet||103||0.25|
|Alfalfa seeds, sprouted, raw||33||0.32|
|Apples, raw, with skin||138||0.17|
|Artichokes, (globe or french)||168||2.17|
|Avocados, raw, California||28.35||0.17|
|Barley, pearled, raw||200||5.00|
|Beans, kidney, red||256||3.23|
|Beet greens, cooked||144||2.74|
|Brussels sprouts, cooked||156||1.87|
|Cucumber, peeled, raw||119||0.26|
|Melons, cantaloupe, raw||160||0.34|
|Oat bran, raw||94||5.09|
|Tomatoes, red, ripe||123||0.33|
Iron Foods List References
USDA Nutritional Datatbase; University of Arizona Campus Health Services; UCLA; McKinley Health Center; NIH; Virginia Cooperative Extension.