Iron In Diet
Iron In Diet
What food source is the nutrient found in?
- liver and braised beef (3.5 oz. serving) = 6.8 mg iron
- broiled short loin or T-bone steak (3.5 oz. serving) = 3.2 mg iron
- well-done baked ground beef (3.5 oz. serving) = 3.0 mg iron
- cooked shrimp (3 oz. serving or 15 large shrimp) = 2.6 mg iron
- chicken, dark meat, roasted with skin (3.5 oz. serving) = 1.4 mg iron
- turkey, light meat, roasted without skin (3.5 oz. serving) = 1.4 mg iron
- spinach, boiled (1/2 cup) = 3.2 mg iron
- kidney beans, red, boiled (1 cup) = 5.2 mg iron
- potato, baked with skin (1 large) = 2.7 mg iron
- noodles, egg, enriched, cooked (1 cup) = 2.5 mg iron
- rice, white, enriched, cooked (1 cup) = 1.9 mg iron
- rice, long grain, brown, cooked (1 cup) = 0.82 mg iron
- raisins, seedless (2/3 cup) = 2.1 mg iron
- broccoli, boiled (1/2 cup) = 0.66 mg iron
- egg, boiled, hard/soft (1 large) = 0.59 mg iron
How does the nutrient affect the body?
- difficulty concentrating
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- Consume foods rich in heme iron, including lean red meat and dark poultry.
- Eat dark green, iron-rich vegetables with meat, poultry, or seafood. The iron in the animal protein enhances absorption of the iron in the vegetables.
- Include foods high in vitamin C at each meal. This will enhance the body's absorption of iron, especially the non-heme iron, which is harder to absorb.
- Eat enriched or fortified grain, cereal, and pasta products that have iron added to them.
- Use iron cooking pans, for example, cast-iron skillets.
- Include an animal protein when eating grains, cereal, or pasta to increase the absorption of non-heme iron.
- Avoid drinking tea when eating iron-rich foods. The tannic acid in tea reduces iron absorption by about 50%. Coffee also reduces iron absorption but not as much.
- 11 mg for children from 7 to 12 months old
- 7 mg for children from 1 to 3 years old
- 10 mg for children from 4 to 8 years old
- 8 mg for boys and girls from 9 to 13 years old
- 11 mg for boys 14 to 18 years old
- 15 mg for girls 14 to 18 years old
- 8 mg for adult men 19 years and older
- 18 mg for adult women 19 to 50 years old
- 8 mg for adult women 51 years and older
- 27 mg for pregnant women
- 25 mg for adolescent women 14 to 18 years old who are
- 27 mg for women 19 years and older who are breastfeeding
- Iron is best taken on an empty stomach, with water or fruit juice, one to two hours after a meal.
- If iron causes stomach upset, the iron supplement can be taken with food or right after a meal.
- Antacids may make iron supplements less effective, so iron should be taken at least one to two hours before or after antacids.
- Certain foods interfere with iron absorption and should be avoided one to two hours after or before an iron supplement is taken. These foods include eggs, milk, cheese, tea, coffee, and whole grain bread.
- Iron and calcium supplements should not be taken together.
- There are some interactions between iron and certain medications, such as some antibiotics. Individuals taking iron supplements should let their healthcare professionals know this when new medications are prescribed.
- Iron can worsen certain medical conditions, such as stomach ulcers. It's important to discuss iron supplements with the healthcare professional.
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Somer, E., MA, RD.&Health Media of America. (1995). The Essential Guide To Vitamins and Minerals (2nd ed.). New York: HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.
Duyff, R., MS, RD, CFCS. (1996). The American Dietetic Association's Complete Food&Nutrition Guide. Minnesota: Chronimed Publishing.
Murray, M., ND. (1996). Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements. California: Prima Publishing.