Did you know that iron is one of the most important minerals for your body? It is found in many different foods and is also available as a supplement. Iron has a number of different functions in the body, including helping to carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Not getting enough iron can lead to health problems, so it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough of this nutrient.
While you can get iron from meat and other animal products, there are also many plant-based sources of iron, which will be welcomed especially by vegans, that you can add to your diet.
In this article, we will look at six ways to raise your iron levels quickly. Read on!
How to tell if you have iron deficiency (click to expand)
Get plenty of sleep 😴
We all know that a good night’s sleep is crucial for our health and well-being, but did you know that sleep also helps our bodies raise iron levels? Believe it or not, during deep sleep our bodies produce more of the hormone hepcidin. This hormone restricts the amount of iron absorbed by the intestines, which in turn prevents too much iron from building up in the body. As a result, getting enough quality sleep can help keep our iron levels in check. So if you’re looking for an easy way to boost your overall health, make sure to get plenty of shuteye!
Add leafy green vegetables to your diet 🥬
Green leafy vegetables are a great source of iron, and they’re also low in calories and packed with nutrients. Plus, they’re delicious and easy to incorporate into your diet. There are many different types of green leafy vegetables, so you can easily find one that you like. Adding these vegetables to your diet is a simple way to improve your overall health.
Here are some tips for adding more green leafy vegetables to your meals:
- Include spinach in your breakfast omelet or scrambled eggs.
- Add kale or collard greens to your soup or stir-fry.
- Enjoy a salad topped with spinach, arugula, or Swiss chard.
- Make sure to include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and asparagus in your dinner rotation.
Personally, I’m not a fan of vegetable smoothies, but if you want to experiment a bit (and maybe you’ll even like it), give it a try! Among the most famous vegetable smoothies that will provide you with iron are, for example, a spinach smoothie, a Swiss chard smoothie, or simply a smoothie made from all green leafy vegetables. You can also add bananas, pineapples, or other exotic fruits to improve the taste.
Drink plenty of water 💧
Did you know that your body loses iron every day, through things like sweating and bleeding? That’s why it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough iron in your diet.
Iron is found in red blood cells, which are created in the bone marrow and then sent out to all parts of your body for oxygenation. Drinking enough fluids will help your body take up more iron from food sources so it can be used by these cells instead of storing it (which can lead to anemia). Drinking more liquids will help keep your blood volume up which will help increase the amount of oxygen available to your red blood cells that then ferry the ferritin around for you to use.
Believe it or not, plain old H2O is one of the best ways to get more of this essential nutrient into your system!
Reach for the nuts 🥜
Nuts are a great source of both iron and vitamin C, which are both important for preventing and treating anemia. Iron is essential for carrying oxygen throughout the body, while vitamin C helps the body to better absorb iron from food. So eating a few servings of nuts per day can help you get the recommended amount of both iron and vitamin C.
There are many different types of nuts that are rich in iron. Some of the most popular nuts that are high in iron include almonds, pistachios, walnuts, macadamias, and cashews.
Meat – The TOP iron-rich food 🥩
Many people know that meat contains a considerable amount of iron, but few know what kind of meat. Beef or chicken? Fish or pork?
Lean red meat is the best source of iron. Beef, lamb, pork, and venison are all good sources of iron. Chicken and turkey are also good sources of iron, but they contain less than red meat. In terms of organ meats, the liver is number one! The liver is rich in vitamin B12, which helps maintain healthy red blood cells and also contains high levels of other minerals such as zinc and copper. Eating liver regularly can help to improve anemia by increasing the absorption of nutrients from food sources.
Why is iron from meat better than vegetables? Your body absorbs about 15-35% of the heme iron from meats, compared to just 2-10% of the non-heme iron from plants. That’s because heme iron is transported into cells via a special protein called transferrin, while non-heme iron is not. So if you’re looking for ways to increase your iron levels, eating lean red meat is your best bet.
Iron Supplements 💊
Another way to increase your iron levels is to take iron supplements, most often in the form of capsules or syrup. There are countless products on the market, however, before you decide to order one, it is very important to consult this with your doctor. This is because too much iron in the diet can be dangerous.
If you know that you consume iron-rich foods every day, such as the already mentioned green leafy vegetables, nuts, or red meat, taking irons supplement is not recommended. Conversely, if you don’t like foods that are rich in iron, supplements are an ideal choice if your doctor deems it appropriate.
Whether you prefer meat or plants, remember that a varied diet is a key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. If your goal is to eat more iron-rich foods, remember that our body also needs other minerals and vitamins, so it is important to combine different foods to give our body everything it needs to function properly.