Best Iron Food and Supplement Sources

iron in foods

If you are looking to improve your iron status through diet, here are the best food sources (5-18mg/100g of food): liver, prune juice, kidney, heart, molasses, pork, beef, sunflower seeds, and beans. , pinto beans, oysters, clams, kidney beans, lentils, navy beans, sesame seeds, tahini, chickpeas, chickpeas, lamb, egg yolks, rice polish, rice bran, millet, parsley, Jerusalem artichoke, buckwheat.

Less concentrated food sources of iron (1-5 mg/100g food): walnuts, mustard greens, soy milk, almonds, cashews, chicken, turkey, shrimp, tuna, mackerel, veal, wheat germ, sardines, dandelion greens Pumpkin walnuts, dates, plums, tomato juice, split peas, liver, tortillas, peas, brewer’s yeast, raisins, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cabbage, spinach, apricots, peaches, turnip greens, beet tops, whole grains, lentils, grass Seaweed, tofu, tempeh, whey powder, watercress, elderberry, dandelion, cucumber, chestnut, chard, barley, Brazil nuts, broccoli, cauliflower, garlic, persimmon, brown rice.

Parsley is the unsung hero of the kitchen. (Courtesy of Cider Mill Press)

iron supplement

Most doctors recommend 300 mg of ferrous gluconate or ferrous sulfate once or twice daily for iron deficiency. Many different brands of this type of iron supplement are available at regular drugstores. These would be fine if they did not cause black stools, stomach irritation, and constipation in most people who take them. In addition, its absorption into the bloodstream is poor. In cases of severe diarrhea, they may have a role to play as alternatives to narcotics or other toxic constipation drugs. Side effects of constipation can sometimes be relieved by taking pharmaceutical grade iron with a high dose of vitamin C (1,000 mg or more). As you know, high doses of vitamin C can cause loose bowel movements.

If you prefer to use a more natural iron supplement, I recommend health food store Floradix Liquid Iron and Floravital (same, yeast-free only), made in Germany by Salus-Haus and distributed in North America by Flora. Constipation is usually not a problem with these because the iron is in liquid form and also contains some vitamin B12 and fruit juice concentrates for better absorption. Floradix is ​​also available in tablet form. I have recommended the Floradix brand with excellent results for over 20 years.

Additionally, many popular health food store brands make iron citrate, iron aspartate, and iron picolinate supplements, which are much better tolerated and absorbed than pharmaceutical-grade iron tablets. It is freely available in the USA; However, the laws governing dietary supplements vary greatly in Canada, and it is difficult to find the different versions and picolines there.

Iron can be a double-edged sword. If you are taking any iron supplement, it is important to have your blood checked periodically for iron overload, which is a risk factor for heart disease, diabetes, cancer and liver problems. This issue is especially important for men and postmenopausal women who do not have the opportunity to lose iron monthly during their menstrual period.

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