Iron is an essential mineral that your body needs to transport oxygen to all its cells and tissues. A slight deficiency of this mineral can cause anemia which is characterized by paleness, weakness and fatigue. A more severe deficiency can lead to organ failure.
We all know that a deficiency of iron or any essential vitamin or mineral can trigger serious health issues. But we also need to know that excessive iron supply can lead to the production of free radicals which can cause cellular damage and metabolic problems. They can also cause damage to major organs like your heart and liver.
But iron overdose is rare. It is because the body has a natural ability to regulate iron, except in cases when an individual takes iron supplements in excessive amounts. The required daily value of iron is 18 milligrams.
Here are the top 7 natural food sources of iron:
1. Dried Herbs
Some herbs are not just useful for their medicinal properties. They are also rich in iron that people can use to treat anemia. These herbs include dried thyme, parsley, dried spearmint, black pepper, dried marjoram, cumin seed, dried dill, dried oregano, bay leaf, dried coreander, dried basil, ground turmeric, ground savory, anise seed, fenugreek seed, dried terragon, dried chervil, and dried rosemary.
2. Cocoa Powder and Chocolate
Chocolate is not only useful for its flavonoid content that is beneficial to the blood vessels and the heart. It also contains iron that the body needs for efficient oxygenation and metabolism. Cocoa powder is found to contain 36 mg of iron for every 100 g serving while unsweetened baking chocolate contains 17.4 mg per 100 grams. A 1.5-ounce sweetened chocolate bar contains 1 mg of iron.
Liver is rich in vitamins but it is most abundant in iron. It was even recommended as a cure for anemia back in the 1990s. Duck liver, pork liver, chicken liver, turkey liver, lamb liver and beef liver are the top 6 animal livers that are packed with high amounts of iron.
4. Clams, Oysters, and Mussels
Clams, oysters, and mussels are shellfishes that are loaded with iron. These can be eaten raw, baked, steamed or fried.
5. Pumpkin and Squash Seeds
Dried or roasted pumpkin and squash seeds are rich natural sources of iron. You can find them in any Middle Eastern or East Asian specialty store.
6. Sesame Butter and Seeds
Sesame butter is ground sesame seed paste and it is similar to peanut butter. Both the sesame seed butter and toasted sesame seeds contain high amounts of iron.
7. Caviar (Fish Eggs)
Caviar or egg fish is a rich natural source of iron. A 100-gram caviar can provide 11.9 mg of iron. It is already about 66 percent of the body’s required daily value.
These are the top seven foods that are high in iron content. You can eat these foods to maintain the iron levels of your body and to prevent anemia which is one of the main causes of energy loss and fatigue.