It’s the ultimate anti fatigue! Our advice to put the best sources of iron on your plate. An even easier challenge in the summer.
This trace element is vital for the body. In the blood, iron is incorporated in red blood cells and transports oxygen from the lungs to the organs. If women have needs far superior to men, it’s because the iron “leaks” every month with blood rules. According to the latest national study on food consumption (Inca), 13.5% of women have depleted reserves before menopause and 6% suffer from anemia, a more advanced stage. However, food can make up reserves.
How do I know if I’m lacking iron?
Our daily needs? 9 mg for men, 16 mg for women (non-menopausal), while their average consumption is 11 mg / day. But before starting an “iron diet” (the excess being as harmful as the lack!), We must know if our rate is flat, or not.
Three signs suggestive of iron deficiency:
- unexplained fatigue
- constant lack of pep.
The doctor can then prescribe a ferritin dosage via a simple blood test. We also think about it in case of:
- hair loss ;
- headache ;
- lack of appetite ;
- disorders of concentration.
In addition to the rules, the loss of iron may be related to under-nutrition (vigilance in the elderly), insufficient intake (diet), poor absorption of iron by the digestive system, taking anticoagulants …
Which foods contain the most?
In the pudding! Too bad if you do not, because it’s a manna: 100 g black pudding or seared white, it is 16 mg of iron, the recommended daily intake! Extra also offal, lamb kidneys (12 mg) * and veal liver (4.5 mg).
You say yuck? Go for red meat and duck (about 3 mg) or “blue” fish, such as tuna (1.8 mg). We also enjoy grilled and seasoned fried, because fast cooking better preserve the iron. Are you rather pot-au-feu? Savor the juice in soup, because part of the iron goes in the cooking water.
Iron intake for vegetarians
It’s not so easy to reach your iron quota if you limit or not eat meat, because plant iron is less well absorbed by the body. Eating lentils or spinach, whole wheat bread or eggs is not enough (about 2.5 mg). So go for it with dried fruits and nuts (apricot, pistachio, 4 mg), and seeds: flax, sesame, caraway, coriander, fennel, alfalfa, alfalfa: 1 tsp. soup is 15 to 25% of the daily intake. To be incorporated into salads, soups or bread and cake dough. Another bonus: spices (caraway, turmeric, fenugreek), herbs (thyme, basil …) and dark chocolate with 70% cocoa minimum.
Seafood, rich in iron
We enjoy the holidays by the sea to taste clams (7 mg), mussels (4 mg) or octopus. Good plan again, green algae. Practical in the form of straws, they are used as a condiment on vegetables, fish or green smoothies. But sparingly, because their iron content explodes the counters!
Sports: you need larger iron intakes
Sport, especially with high impact on the ground (running, step, aerobics …), increases iron losses, resulting in less oxygenation of the muscles. Result: we tire faster, we are more prone to cramps and, ultimately, it demotivates. Certainly, the deficiency of iron among the sportsmen is observed, above all, during a regular and rather intensive practice. But the summer is conducive to activities, we do not forget the iron in its menus and diversify its activity, alternating running on the beach with bike or swimming, for example.
Tips to properly assimilate iron
Boost vitamin C because it strengthens iron absorption by the body. For this to work, you must consume both nutrients during the same meal. It’s the season of fruits and vegetables, so we do our market accordingly. You can also squeeze a fillet of lemon on your fish or drink a fresh orange juice as an aperitif. Also effective, vitamin B12. Essential for the formation of red blood cells, it strengthens the action of iron. Here again, good pick with the giblets and the products of the sea.
Limit tea, coffee and wine as their tannins also slow down the proper absorption of the precious trace element. So no abuse, especially if you consume little or no red meat or other iron super sources. And we try, as much as possible, to drink these beverages at a distance from meals.
Avoid self-medication … There are several products (ampoules, tablets) on the market. But, by wanting to do well, one risks to take more iron than the advised contribution. Supplements can also interact with certain medications. So, no taking without notice or supervision of the doctor.