Iron is an essential mineral needed in the body to make Haemoglobin (red blood cells) which are responsible for carrying and transporting oxygen around the body. A lack of iron will lead to aneamia which can cause fatigue, low mood, heart palpitations and can lead to other serious health conditions such as permanent heart rhythm changes and problems with the lungs. Women especially should consider their iron levels and supplement it during their periods where there is blood loss

Iron can be found in the following:

Good sources of iron include:

  • lentils
  • liver and other meats
  • beans 
  • nuts 
  • dried fruit – such as dried apricots and dates
  • wholegrains – such as brown rice 
  • fortified breakfast cereals 
  • soy bean flour 
  • most dark-green leafy vegetables – such as watercress and curly kale
  • Guinness

In order to maximise the absorption of iron from foods, pair with a vitamin C rich ingredient such as Tomatoes. Alternatively there is evidence that drinking a small amount of beer with a meal increases absorption.

have a look at our Dahl recipe here for an iron packed meal

The average adult needs 8.7mg (men) and 14.8mg (women) daily through their diet. However some people will require more dependent on their blood results or if they are loosing blood. Iron supplements can come in tablet, liquid and spray form and can be available both on prescription and over the counter depending on strength.

Myth – Spinach is full of iron. –It is true there is some Iron in spinach but it is not in vast amounts we were lead to believe by Pop-eye and the iron itself is also not as easily absorbed by the body compared to other sources. It is still a very great source of other vitamins and minerals so should remain a part of a balanced diet (New Scientist, 2015)