7 Iron-Rich Foods to Boost Your Energy Levels
Iron deficiency is one of the most common causes of chronic tiredness and fatigue. Inadequate iron intake can lead to iron-deficiency anaemia, which causes tiredness, shortness of breath and pale skin. Iron supplements can have unpleasant side effects, such as constipation and stomach pain, which means that many people prefer to boost their iron intake by increasing the amount of iron in their diet. Here are 7 iron-rich foods to boost your energy levels.
Liver is one of the best foods to eat if you are anaemic, as it contains high amounts of iron. Liver also contains vitamins A, C, D and E, which are essential for the human body to function properly. In addition, liver provides a wealth of other important nutrients, including phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, zinc, potassium and copper. Chicken liver, beef liver and lambs liver are all excellent sources of iron and can be cooked in a variety of dishes.
Red meat is another excellent source of iron, with 100 grams of red meat containing around 3 milligrams of iron, depending on the type of meat and method of cooking. Red meat also contains vitamins A, C, B6 and B12, as well as calcium, magnesium, potassium and folic acid. If you are worried about the high fat content of some red meats, choose lean cuts or thin steaks, remembering to trim any visible fat from the meat.
Eggs are high in protein and full of essential nutrients, including vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, calcium, zinc, phosphorous and selenium. Eggs also contain high quantities of iron, with two large eggs giving you around 1 milligram of iron. Many of the nutrients found in eggs are contained in the yolk, so you will need to eat the whole egg to gain maximum benefits.
Dried fruit contains high amounts of iron. Dried apricots, in particular, can give you a substantial iron boost. In addition, dried apricots contain significant amounts of vitamin A and vitamin C, as well as dietary fibre, which is essential for a healthy digestive system. Prunes and raisins also contain generous amounts of iron and other nutrients.
Leafy green vegetables are packed with healthy nutrients, including iron, calcium, magnesium and a whole range of vitamins. Spinach is one of the best vegetable sources of iron, particularly when eaten raw. Vegans may find it difficult to obtain adequate amounts of iron from their diet, as the best food sources of iron come from animal products, so it is important for vegans to eat plenty of leafy green vegetables.
Dark chocolate can contain around 17 milligrams of iron per 100 grams of chocolate, depending on the amount of cocoa it contains. Milk chocolate does not contain the same nutritional benefits, as it contains less cocoa powder. Cocoa powder contains high amounts or iron and can be found in dark chocolate and cocoa-based drinks. Dark chocolate also contains powerful antioxidants that help to reduce harmful pollutants in the body.
Fortified Breakfast Cereals
Many breakfast cereals are now fortified with iron and other nutrients. Check the label to see which vitamins, minerals and nutrients have been added to your cereal. While fortified cereals can help to boost your iron intake, many of these cereals contain high amounts of sugar and salt, so it is important to keep an eye on the labels when buying breakfast cereal.
Eating plenty of iron in your diet can help to boost your energy levels and reduce the risk of developing anaemia. In order to absorb iron effectively, your body needs an adequate supply of vitamin C. Vitamin C can be found in oranges, strawberries, red peppers, broccoli and potatoes.