Iron is a mineral that plays an important role in oxygen delivery to tissues. It is necessary for the production of hemoglobin in red blood cells, and is involved in the production of ATP (the basic unit of energy in the body). It is also essential for the regulation of cell growth and differentiation.

There are two forms of dietary iron: heme and nonheme. Heme iron is derived from hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that delivers oxygen to cells. Heme iron is found in animal foods that originally contained hemoglobin, such as red meats, fish, and poultry. Iron in plant foods such as lentils and beans is arranged in a chemical structure called nonheme iron.

Iron - Found in:

Oysters, Lentils, Beans, Spinach, Grass-Fed Beef, Lamb, Ostrich,
Rosenzweig PH, Volpe SL Iron, thermoregulation, and metabolic rate. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 1999 Mar;39(2):131-48).Miret S, Simpson RJ, McKie AT. Physiology and molecular biology of dietary iron absorption. Annu Rev Nutr 2003;23:283-301. Uzel C and Conrad ME. Absorption of heme iron. Semin Hematol 1998;35:27-34.Sandberg A. Bioavailability of minerals in legumes. British J of Nutrition. 2002;88:S281-5. Davidsson L. Approaches to improve iron bioavailability from complementary foods. J Nutr 2003;133:1560S-2S.

About The Author

Kelley Herring, founder of Healing Gourmet, is a natural nutrition enthusiast with a background in biochemistry. Her passion is educating on how foods promote health and protect against disease and creating simple and delicious recipes for vibrant health and enjoyment.

Kelley Herring – who has written posts on Healing Gourmet.

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