Iron is important for weight loss. A diet rich in iron can help you build and maintain a strong physique. People who get enough iron in a day tend to be more up and active throughout the day. Iron is essential for building healthy muscles and maintaining healthy blood. Iron is an essential mineral because it is needed to make part of blood cells. Iron functions primarily as a carrier of oxygen in the body, both as a part of hemoglobin in red blood cells and of myoglobin in the muscles. Iron also makes up part of many proteins in the body. Iron is the most difficult to obtain from diet alone. By balancing your diet and including several sources of iron, you can avert anemia.
How Add Iron-rich Foods in Dietary Help Weight-loss
Our body needs iron to produce red blood cells, which are required to oxygenate and burn fat and calories. This is why starvation diets don’t work: if you don’t eat foods that are high in iron, you won’t effectively lose fat, only muscle and organ weight.
Why Do We Need Iron
Iron is a mineral needed by our bodies. Iron is a part of all cells and does many things in our bodies. For example, iron (as part of the protein hemoglobin) carries oxygen from our lungs throughout our bodies. Having too little hemoglobin is called anemia. Iron also helps our muscles store and use oxygen.
Iron is a part of many enzymes and is used in many cell functions. Enzymes help our bodies digest foods and also help with many other important reactions that occur within our bodies. The function of the immune system is also dependent on sufficient iron.
If we lack iron, we will produce less hemoglobin, and therefore supply less oxygen to our tissues. Iron deficiency anemia during pregnancy can increase risk for small or early (preterm) babies. Iron deficiency can cause fatigue that impairs the ability to do physical work in adults. Iron deficiency may also affect memory or other mental function in teens.
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for iron for non-vegetarian pre-menopausal women is 18 mg/day. The RDA for non-vegetarian men and post-menopausal women is 8 mg/day. The RDAs for vegetarians are higher – 14 mg/day for vegetarian men and 33 mg/day for vegetarian women.
Food Sources of Iron
Iron is found in the form of heme iron and non-heme iron. HEME iron is found only in animal products such as meat, fish and poultry and comes directly from hemoglobin, the red blood cells in the animal. Heme iron is absorbed much more easily than NON-HEME iron, which is found primarily in plant products such as fruits, vegetables, dried beans, nuts and grain products. Plants should still be an important part of the diet, because they provide numerous other health benefits and are laden with a number of essential minerals in addition to being sources of iron.
Animal sources of iron include red meat, especially liver, eggs, and seafood such as tuna, salmon, and oysters. White meat also carries some iron, but not nearly as much as lean red meat does. Humans should not rely entirely on red meat for their iron, but it should be considered a significant source. When animal sources of iron are eaten with green leafy vegetables, the body is better able to absorb the heme iron in the animal products, so a balanced, healthy plate of food is recommended.
The List of Iron-Rich Foods:
Iron fortified bread, pasta, cereals
Any kind of bean soup
Orange / strawberry / grapefruit juice
Baked potato with skin
Broccoli soup / salad
Tomato / potato juice
Baked beans on toast
Whole grain products / breads
Soy milk / cheese
4-5 cashews / almonds
Breaded oysters / clams
Chicken breast / leg
Cooked beef / turkey / pork loin