Boudavida don’t just love a good pair of leggings, we also care about living a healthy lifestyle and encouraging others to do the same. It’s no secret that living in a healthy way has a lot to do with the food we eat, so we’ve put together a blog about iron so you’re clued up on the mineral, why we need it and how to pack more of it into our diets.
What is iron?
Without getting too bogged down by science, iron is used to carry oxygen throughout our bodies and make red blood cells. It is also an essential nutrient for growth, so it’s safe to say it’s rather important, especially for pregnant women who require a higher intake.
Which foods are iron rich?
For most people red meat springs to mind when iron is mentioned, and with good reason. Lean red meat is packed full of the nutrient which is especially found in liver, beef and lamb. Shellfish such as clams and oysters are also great for ensuring you get your daily recommended dose of iron.
For the less carnivorous, many vegetarian and vegan foods are also rich in iron. Leafy greens such as spinach and broccoli as well as lentils, tofu, and nuts and seeds are all excellent sources of iron and will be warming dishes in this cold, British weather.
For those with a sweeter tooth we’ve found even more reasons to enjoy that chocolate bar - dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa) can boost your iron intake! Thank us later.
How to add more into your diet?
It’s all very well knowing which foods are iron rich but incorporating them into your diet isn’t always as simple. Here are our top tips and simple ways that will boost your iron intake:
- When enjoying your Sunday roast go for the darker chicken meat which has double the amount of iron (choose thighs over breast as these have a high amount of nutrients)
- Snack on a hard boiled egg or a handful of nuts
- Sprinkle nuts on salads or stir frys - cashews contain the most iron
- End your meal with a square or two of dark chocolate and use it for baking as an alternative to milk chocolate
- Add a side of spinach, kale or broccoli to your meals
- Enjoy vitamin C rich foods such as citrus fruits and juices as the vitamin helps the body to absorb iron from non-meat foods. Include a source of vitamin C when eating plant sources of iron.