Thursday, June 21, 2012

Get your Iron On! Part 1:

Believe it or not Iron deficiency anemia is the most common nutrient deficiency in the world, especially among women. It is crucial for one to consume iron rich foods daily to help deliver oxygen to the cells in the body. Iron deficiencies can do a number on the body causing not only severe exhaustion and a weaker immune system, but can also affect the physical appearance of hair, skin, and nails. The problem is that not only are people not consuming enough iron rich foods in general, but iron is also very difficult to absorb in the body. They’re many factors (including other essential nutrients) that can impair iron absorption in the body.
Here are foods that you may (or may not) to expect to be rich in iron:
Clams and Oysters: Shellfish lovers rejoice! These gourmet treats are freakishly high in iron (as well as zinc); nearly quadruple (yes 4x) the amount of iron in ground beef!

Plant Sources: Although meat sources tend to be higher in iron content and bioavailability (how well it is absorbed in the body), they are also an abundant amount of plant sources.
Lemon grass:  A delicious herb that is used in Asian cuisine. Lemon grass has nearly double the iron content than cooked spinach (another excellent source of iron). I will be posting some lemon grass recipes very soon!

Parsley: Whoever said that parsley’s only purpose is to be just a simple garnish was severely mistaken! Parsley also has nearly double the amount of iron than cooked spinach and is widely consumed in a Middle Eastern dish called tabbouleh. Stayed tuned for some new and innovative tabbouleh recipes!
Tip: When consuming iron from plant sources aka nonheme iron it is important to add vitamin C rich citrus juices (ascorbic acid) to help optimize absorption. Some foods that are high in vitamin C include lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruit. Other foods that are high in vitamin C include bell peppers and sweet potatoes.

More info on Iron coming soon!

Best of Health,

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