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Iron

Iron is a trace mineral. Major dietary sources of Iron include liver, kidneys, red meat, poultry, eggs, peas, legumes (dried beans), dried fruits, dark green leafy vegetables, enriched breads and cereals. Heme Iron (found in animal products) is better absorbed by the body than non-heme Iron (found in plants). To enhance non-heme Iron absorption, eat foods rich in Vitamin C during the same meal.

Major Body Functions:

  • Essential in the formation of hemoglobin (carries oxygen in the blood) and myoglobin (carries oxygen in muscle)
  • It is part of several enzymes and proteins

Deficiency Symptoms:

  • Microcytic anemia (small cell type)
  • Fatigue
  • Decrease in immune function

Excessive Intake and Toxicity Symptoms:

  • Hemochromatosis, an iron metabolism disorder resulting in failure of multiple organ systems
  • Death
  • Toxicity is rare from dietary sources, however, toxicity can occur from ingestion of Iron supplements
THE BEST SOURCES OF IRON
Food Amount Milligrams (Mgs)
Liver, pork, cooked 3 ounces 24.7
Cereal, 100% fortified 3/4 cup 18
Cream of wheat, cooked 1/2 cup 9
Liver, chicken, cooked 3 ounces 7.2
Prune juice 1/2 cup 5.3
Navy beans, cooked 1 cup 5
Lima beans 1 cup 4.9
Black-eyed peas 1 cup 4.3
Spinach, cooked 1 cup 4.3
Oysters 4 3.6
Roast beef 3 ounces 3.1
Blackstrap molasses 1 tablespoon 2.3
Watermelon 4 x 8 inch wedge 2.1
Dried apricots 12 halves 2
Dried prunes 10 2
Kale, cooked 1 cup 1.8
Collard greens, cooked 1 cup 1.5
Egg 1 whole 1.3

Not all exercises or diets are suitable for everyone. Before you begin this program, you should have permission from your doctor to participate in vigorous exercise and change of diet. If you feel discomfort or pain when you exercise, do not continue. The instructions and advice presented are in no way intended as a substitute for medical counseling. The creators, producers, participants and distributors of this site disclaim any liability or loss in connection with the exercise and advice provided here.

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