There’s no denying that we all have been quite busy with our lives. Preoccupied with thoughts about how to score better in exams or how to get an appraisal from the boss, we have failed to consider our health as a priority. And it has its implications now. One such consequence of a hectic lifestyle that has shown up recently (more than before) is – missing iron from our diet.
Iron is a very important mineral required for normal day to day activities and deficiency of which can be very harmful. Find out more about iron rich indian foods list, its benefits, and other tips below –
Indian Foods Rich in Dietary Iron:
There are two types of Dietary Iron – Heme and Non-Heme.
Heme Iron – It is obtained from foods such as meat, fish, and other poultry products which originally contained haemoglobin.
Iron Rich Indian Foods for Non-Vegetarians
- Chicken Liver – Not only does it contain quality protein but it also contains a whole lot of essential vitamins like B-12 and minerals like Iron. One serving (usually 3 oz) of the chicken liver will provide you with 11 mg of Iron which is about 40% of your daily requirement.
- Salmon – The iron present in Salmon is heme iron which is absorbed at least twice as fast as non-heme iron. Moreover, meats like salmon can also increase the absorption rate of non-heme iron obtained from plant based sources. A 100 gram serving of Salmon will provide you with 1 mg of iron.
- Tuna – Besides, DHA and EPA (types of omega-3 fatty acids), Tuna also contains a good amount of dietary iron in itself. A typical 6 oz serving of canned light tuna contains 2.5 mg of iron, and similar serving size of white tuna gives 1.7 mg of iron.
- Lamb – With over 2 mg of iron in a typical 4 oz serving, lamb meat is certainly one of the easiest source heme iron. Besides, it is also loaded with quality protein, minerals like zinc and vitamins such as B12 and Thiamine.
Non-Heme Iron – Non-heme Iron is derived from plant based sources. The body does not readily absorb it. To increase their absorption, you may require Vitamin C along with their intake.
Iron Rich Indian Foods for Vegetarians –
- Chickpeas (Chole) – Known for its high protein and fibre content, chickpeas are also an exceptional source of Iron. Chickpeas is one of the best indian food rich in iron. One cup cooked serving of chickpeas provides over 65% of daily iron needs. In addition, it also contains a good amount of magnesium and vitamin B-6.
- Kidney Beans (Rajma) – Kidney beans are among the least expensive sources of protein and iron for a vegetarian diet. A 100 gram raw serving of kidney beans contains about 8 mg of iron along with nutrients like molybdenum and folate which are required to support good health.
- Split Peas (Matar ki Dal) – What’s healthier than a cup of split pea soup on a cold day. Split peas are low in calories in rich in various vitamins and minerals. A 3 oz serving of cooked split peas fulfils 20% of the daily iron requirement of an adult male.
- Broccoli – Talk about iron rich foods and miss out Broccoli? No way. Since decades, Broccoli has been a staple vegetable for every bodybuilder. And that’s because it’s richness in Vitamins like C, K and minerals like Iron and Potassium. One cup of steamed broccoli provides over 1.2 mg of iron.
- Apricots (Khubani) – Dried apricots are high in nutrients compared to their fresh counterpart. They are an excellent source of fibre, potassium, and antioxidant carotenoids. An adequate amount of consumption of dietary potassium is essential for maintaining healthy blood pressure. Besides, a typical half-cup serving of dried apricots provides with 10% of the daily iron requirement.
- Peanuts (Mungfali) – There’s no bad time to eat a handful of peanuts. They are densely packed with vitamins, minerals, good fats and antioxidants. Peanuts contain a good amount of Vitamin E which has shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. A 3 oz serving of roasted peanuts contains about 4 mg of iron.
- Cashews (Kaju) – Use them to garnish your oatmeal or eat them as an evening snack, Cashews are full of heart healthy fats and essential vitamins and minerals. An ounce serving of cashews contains nearly 2 mg of iron and 1.6 mg of zinc. They are also low in sodium and cholesterol-free.
- Spinach (Palak) – We saved the best for the last. Spinach is the best indian vegetable rich in iron. For years Spinach has been used as a synonym for iron rich foods. Some of the many health benefits of eating spinach include – maintaining healthy eyesight, prevent muscular degeneration and phytochemicals present provide anti-inflammatory and anti-cancerous properties. A 100 gram serving of raw spinach provides a little over 2.5 mg of iron whereas a similar serving of boiled spinach contains 3.6 mg of iron. Lightly cooking spinach in olive oil is a good way to absorb lutein (a carotenoid which can only be absorbed along with fat).
Major Health Benefits of Iron
- Boosts Your Physical Performance
- Increases Energy Levels
- Healthy Brain Development in Kids
- Improves Appetite in Children
- Aids Normal Muscle Function
- Strengthens Immunity
- Fights Hair Fall
- Improves Skin Health
- Healthy Pregnancy
- Alleviates RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome)
- Gives relief from premenstrual symptoms
- Speeds up wound healing
Pro Tips to Improve your Absorption of Iron
- To absorb the maximum amount of iron from the foods you consume, avoid eating calcium rich foods or drinking tea and coffee simultaneously with your meals containing iron-rich foods.
- You can also take help of Vitamin C to increase your iron absorption. Good sources of Vitamin C include – Orange Juice, Lemon Juice, Broccoli and Strawberries.
What’s your favourite sources of iron in indian foods? Do share your views in the comment section below and subscribe to Myfitfuel Blog for researched health and fitness tips.
Also published on Medium.