Iron is vital for carrying oxygen throughout the body through the hemoglobin in the blood. 2/3 of the body's iron is found in the blood.
Leafy green vegetables are an excellent source of iron. Generally speaking, the darker the green, the more rich in iron the vegetables are. Iron is absorbed better in combination with vitamin C. Increasing the intake of vitamin C along with iron is helpful for rversing iron deficiency. Having lemon juice on a salad, or adding an orange to a green smoothie is another good way to increase iron absorption.
Common symptoms of iron deficiency include weakness, fatigue, and irritability. Other symptoms may include heartburn, abdominal pain, soreness in the mouth, numbness in the extremities, or heart palpitations. External signs of a deficiency may include brittle nails, pale skin, or sores in the corner of the mouth.
Over time, eating too much iron can cause nausea, loss of appetite, weight loss, headaches, dizziness, fatigue, grey skin, and shortness of breath.
|US Recommended Daily Allowance:||15 mg|
Health Benefits of Iron
|Circulation||Helps transport oxygen throughout the body, which can alleviate fatigue, light-headedness, and weakness.|
|Concentration/Learning||May relieve symptoms of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). A deficiency in iron may diminish cognitive function.|
|Motor Function||A deficiency can cause delayed motor function development in infants.|
|Pregnancy/Postnatal||Helps prevent anemia in pregnant women, thereby preventing low birth weight and premature birth.|
|Teeth and Gums||Helps prevent tooth decay.|
Food Sources of Iron
|Jerusalem Artichokes||5.1 mg||34%|
|Pumpkin Seeds||4.2 mg||28%|
|Amaranth||3.9 mg||26%||Found in whole grains only. Milling and refining grains removes almost all of the iron.|
|Dandelion Greens||3.1 mg||21%|
|Quinoa||2.8 mg||19%||Found in whole grains only. Milling and refining grains removes almost all of the iron.|
|Beet Leaves||2.6 mg||17%|
|Chard||1.8 mg||12%||Young swiss chard contains more iron.|
|Goji Berries/Wolfberries||1.8 mg||12%|
|Mustard Greens||1.5 mg||10%|
|Sunflower Seeds||1.5 mg||10%|
|Sweet Potatoes||1.4 mg||9%|
|Brussels Sprouts||1.2 mg||8%|
|Coconut (Mature)||1.1 mg||7%|
|Romaine Lettuce||1 mg||7%|
|Wild Rice||1 mg||7%|
|Kelp||0.3 mg||2%||Higher in iron, per volume, than other vegetables.|