Foods richest in iron: heme, table, advice

Often tired, a little anemic, slightly pale… Maybe you lack iron? However, by choosing the right foods and acquiring the right reflexes, it is possible to avoid deficiencies. List, table and tips.

Your valuation ferritin is too low? It is necessary Give preference to foods rich in “heme” iron, which are better absorbed by the body. List and advice with Laura Azenard, naturopath.

Which foods contain heme iron?

Our diet offers two types of iron : Heme iron (best absorbed) and non-heme iron.

heme iron is contained in animal proteins such as red meat, fish and shellfishs (mussels, oysters), offal (liver, kidney), charcuterie (black pudding)… The Heme iron is relatively well absorbed during digestion : It is estimated that it is 25% bioavailable (The bioavailability of dietary iron is the percentage of ingested dietary iron that crosses the intestinal barrier). Namely that red meat or fish have a good zinc content, a trace element that contributes to the good absorption of iron.

► the non-heme iron is included in the fruit, vegetables etc legumes. These products have one lower iron content and the latter is much less absorbable as heme iron: estimated to be up to 10% bioavailable. Namely, that among the foods that contain non-heme iron, there is algae. the latter included complexed iron, that is, this iron has the particularity of being surrounded by plant molecules, which allows it to be much better absorbed by the body. the SpirulinaWakame or Dulse are algae that have a good content of complexed iron. But how do you consume them? the Spirulina can be found in dietary supplements, in powder or flakes that can be sprinkled on soups, salads, steamed vegetables or compotes. But beware,Spirulina is a real “sponge” and tends to soak up anything in the air or water it comes in contact with, including pollutants. It is therefore better to choose it with the “Spiruliniers de France” logo, a label that respects ecological commitments and a healthy growing environment.‘ recommends the naturopath.

What is the Iron Rich Foods List?

  • Spirulina (consume as a powder or flakes to sprinkle on your salads, soups or green juices)
  • Black pudding (add it to your menus once a week)
  • beef and duck meat
  • Innards: kidneys, liver
  • Dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa)
  • mussels and oysters
  • lenses
  • White beans
  • Whole Grains: Rolled oats, whole barley, oat bran, whole grains
  • dried herbs: thyme, basil, mint, marjoram, herbs de Provence, parsley, savory, oregano…
  • Cumin, fenugreek, fennel, coriander, chia, sesame…

Spinach ? According to Popeye, spinach is an incredible source of iron. But only with 3mg per 100g, this vegetable is far from the product that contains the most. However, boiled and boiled spinach contains more iron than raw. In addition, they are powerful antioxidants and excellent sources of vitamin C.

Table of foods richest in iron

Below is the table of the richest foods that can easily be favored to increase your ferritin levels. We don’t present them intentionally Complete list of foods according to their iron content because the amounts that need to be consumed to reap the benefits would be really high (e.g. dried thyme contains 124mg iron per 100g; dried basil 90mg/100g or even dried mint 87.5mg /100 g) or foods that are difficult to eat (e.g. raw liver is richer in iron than cooked liver).

meal Iron content (in mg per 100g)
Sautéed/fried black pudding 23
Dark chocolate with no added sugar, in tablet form 22.8
Boiled pork liver 17.9
Braised Lamb Kidney 12.4
Boiled Chicken Liver 12
Boiled Chicken Liver 11.6
Dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa, extra, tasting, bar 11
Fruity “Balance” breakfast cereals enriched with vitamins and minerals 10.6
Wheat petals with walnuts, hazelnuts or almonds enriched with vitamins and minerals 10.4
Cereal breakfast bars with milk, chocolate or not, enriched with vitamins and minerals 9.65
Squid, cooked 9.54
Kidney, beef, boiled 9.5
Gizzard, duck, confit, preserves 9.4
Poultry Liver Pate 9.19
Dark chocolate with dried fruits (hazelnuts, almonds, raisins, praline), tablet 8.7
Seafood, cooked, frozen 8.48
Mussels, canned, drained 8.44
Blonde lens, dry 7.4
Flageolet bean, green, dry 7.3
Bresaola 7.1

handles (Table of the nutritional composition of Ciqual foods)

► The Iron from plants is absorbed much better when combined with Foods rich in vitamin C such as kiwis, red fruits, citrus fruits, guavas, peppers, fennel, spinach, cabbage… Ideally selected as fresh as possible, seasonal, regional and organic. “The idea is Combine legumes with vegetables rich in vitamin C : This is how we like to prepare fried lentils with paprika, for example!‘ advises the naturopath.

► “Anything that is fermented promotes iron absorption, such as: Sauerkraut or sourdough bread which also increases the digestibility of the food“.

► Whole grains (whole grains, brown rice) and legumes (beans, lentils) contain phytic acid in their skins, a biomolecule that prevents proper absorption of nutrients. It is therefore recommended Soak (or sprout) whole grains and legumes before cooking to remove phytic acid.

► You must Be careful with water that is too mineralized (e.g. Hépar or Contrex) which supply an excess of minerals (zinc, magnesium, calcium…). These can slow down the absorption of iron.

► The nutritional quality of all minerals is altered above 100°C, hence the interest in Turn to gentle cooking (braised, steamed, etc.) and at low temperature. Note that vitamin C is even more fragile as it deteriorates above 60°C.

Should we avoid tea and coffee if we are iron deficient?

It is actually necessary Beware of the tannins contained in tea, red wine or coffee, which can impair the absorption of iron of vegetable origin. It is considered better to drink a tea (ideally green or sencha as these teas are oxidizing and rich in vitamin C) or a Coffee between 30 minutes and 1 hour after eating rather than at the same time.

Avoid iron overload!

Iron is an antioxidant when the body has normal levels. On the other hand, if it is too much, it becomes very oxidative and can develop fatigue, weakness and complications affecting the heart, liver and endocrine organs. “Beware of heme iron as our body assimilates it very well, Iron overload can occur in some people who consume too much red meat or processed meat and at risk of developing mild inflammation (gut is damaged and becomes porous)“, the expert specifies. And when the body is overloaded with iron, there is a higher risk of developing one in the long term hemochromatosis (genetic condition associated with excess iron intake), or cardiovascular or respiratory disease, metabolic syndrome, or type 2 diabetes. Iron overload is relatively rare and can be treated if caught early. This problem affects more certain men and women over 50 who are less able to eliminate iron.

Thanks to Laura Azenard, naturopath.

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