foods for iron
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Human existence depends on the mineral iron. It is a crucial part of hemoglobin, a protein responsible for carrying oxygen in red blood cells 1. Although our bodies can store iron, they cannot produce it on their own. Iron can only be obtained from foods. And guess what? There is no better alternative to functional foods for obtaining your iron daily needs.

Supplements have been around for a long time but scientific evidence suggests they do not work synergistically, as opposed to foods, and on this basis, it is hard to absorb the required amount – even when you are overdosing on it. If you do, however, then it is not going to last for long and it is hard for any doctor to prescribe this or any other mineral over long supplementing periods of time. Functional foods for iron serve as a great natural alternative to synthetics and in this article, we will explain to you in simple terms why this is the case and how to achieve the desired results for balanced overall health over much longer periods of time.

At MILESTONE®, we believe that it is critical to consume plant-based functional foods high in minerals, vitamins, and bioactive compounds. Plant-based nutrition is not only great for our health but our planet too. Our pomegranate concentrate is here for this and many other reasons, as a natural solution to boost your hemoglobin levels and much further than that. We can safely state that it is currently the most advanced plant-based solution originating from the pomegranate tree. Feel free and discover our top functional pomegranate formulas that will naturally boost your energy levels.

Foods Rich in Iron

Haem and non-haem iron are the two forms of iron found in food.
Non-haem iron, which is present in plant foods and eggs, is less effective at being absorbed than haem iron, which is present in meat, poultry, and seafood.

Animal-based sources of iron:

  • red meat (beef, lamb, veal, pork, kangaroo). The amount of iron is higher in redder meat
  • liver, kidney
  • chicken, seafood, or shellfish (salmon, sardines, tuna)
  • eggs

Plant-based sources of iron:

The body can still get enough iron from vegan foods that contain non-haem iron. Suitable sources include:

  • nuts
  • dried fruit
  • wholemeal pasta and bread
  • legumes (mixed beans, baked beans, lentils, chickpeas)
  • dark leafy green vegetables (spinach, silver beet, broccoli)
  • oats
  • tofu

How Much Iron do I Need?

Your recommended daily intake (RDI) of iron depends on your age and sex:

  • Children aged 1-3 years — 9 milligrams (mg)
  • Children 4-8 — 10mg
  • Boys 9-13 — 8mg
  • Boys 14-18 — 11mg
  • Girls 9-13 — 8mg
  • Girls 14-18 — 15mg
  • Men aged over 19 — 8mg
  • Women aged 19-50 — 18mg
  • Women 51+ — 8mg
  • Pregnant women — 27mg
  • Women breastfeeding exclusively — 9-10mg

To make up for the iron lost in blood during menstruation, women require additional iron. Women require around twice as much iron as males do up to menopause. When iron levels are too low, iron deficiency occurs, which can cause anemia. Your doctor may advise iron supplements and conduct blood tests if you are concerned that you may be iron deficient. If you are already reading this article then you should know already that you can substitute typical iron supplements with functional foods for iron. Before choosing the right source, you should always talk to your doctor because if you take too much, you might poison yourself.

How to Get More Iron From Your Food

Your body may absorb iron more readily from some foods than from others. Avoid ingesting calcium-rich foods or beverages with meals that include iron-rich foods to ensure that you absorb the maximum iron from the food you consume. Calcium by alone can cause issues. Consume nonheme iron meals with a meat, fish, or poultry diet to increase your iron absorption. You may also eat nonheme iron foods with a strong source of vitamin C, such as orange juice, broccoli, or strawberries.

What is the Role of the Pomegranate on Iron Deficiency Anemia and How it May Help You?

Various studies have related the use of pomegranate juice to high iron bioabsorption and bioavailability. Organic acids, sugars, and polyphenols present in pomegranate juice are shown to have a role in the modulation of iron bioavailability. In particular, the synergistic action of multiple phytochemicals, over and above ascorbic acid, in pomegranate juice may be responsible for improving iron bioavailability. For this reason, pomegranate is regarded as one of the best natural solutions for addressing the global problem of iron deficiency anemia (IDA). Discover the best foods with iron for kids and adults here.

This is what precisely sets apart a natural synergistic formula from a synthetic one; read more on natural vs synthetic ingredients. Our products are 100% on natural ingredients and bioactive compounds working synergistically, and this is why they work great when it comes to better iron assimilation and absorption.

Our Synergistic Functional Foods for Iron

At MILESTONE® we offer you the best natural and synergistic functional foods for iron in the world, that also contain Potassium; another great mineral to look for. But this is not it. Our awarded pomegranate functional food range is responsible for bringing some of the best synergistic action of bioactive substances, polyphenols, and enzymes that are not met elsewhere and facilitate iron absorption.

Our Fermented Pomegranate Concentrate + Vegan Calcium and Potassium has the highest concentration of potassium, is naturally enriched in calcium, and iron – contributing to strong bones and supporting your body’s key processes throughout the day. Each bottle is fermented with natural Lactobacillus and is also rich in Omega 5 fatty acids without the use of additives or sugar. This vegan energy functional food is recommended for those who experience fatigue symptoms or have low hematocrit levels and high blood pressure. Adults and kids alike can benefit from this plant-based food for potassium.

Alternatively, you can consider our Pomegranate Concentrate with Vegan Vitamin B12 energy food. Vitamin B12 plays a crucial role in energy production and metabolism. A lack of this essential vitamin can result in tiredness and irritability. Improve your mood and energy by supplementing with this product.

The Pomegranate Concentrate with Vegan Curcumin + Vitamin D3 offers unmatched immune support and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also an excellent natural source of potassium, calcium, and iron. As a company committed to reducing the impact on animal resources, all of our products are vegan and plant-based. Made naturally and designed to take care of your whole being – from physical and mental to spiritual – these foods are functional and made to fit your lifestyle. As these products are biofunctional, incorporating them into your everyday routine is easy and doable.

Summary

Iron can be better absorbed when received from foods than supplements. Functional foods for iron are a new category of foods that specifically targets iron deficiencies plus many more. They may safeguard heart health, boost cognitive performance, and reduce the risk of developing various chronic diseases.

A Word From MILESTONE®

MILESTONE® Food for your Genes uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Abbaspour N, Hurrell R, Kelishadi R. Review on iron and its importance for human health. J Res Med Sci. 2014 Feb;19(2):164-74. PMID: 24778671; PMCID: PMC3999603.[]

2 Comments

  1. Yannis Biros
    06/08/2022 at 07:19

    Doesn’t polyphenols inhibit iron absorption?

    • of dreams and knowledge
      06/08/2022 at 07:28

      The answer to your question is not as simple, since it lies on a “gray” scientific zone. The term gray is used to signify that the scientific results are not yet conclusive. It has been shown in various research studies that bioactive dietary polyphenols inhibit heme or non-heme iron absorption. The role of ascorbic acid in offsetting some of the inhibitory action of polyphenols has also been investigated with outcomes that depend on the concentration polyphenols in the food matrix. While the above statement is true in general, the exact mechanism by which this works remains unexplored. For example, various studies have related the use of pomegranate juice to high iron bioabsorption and bioavailability. Among the most recent ones, the work by S. P. Balasubramani et al., shows that the pomegranate juice has the ability to enhance iron dialysability, uptake and assimilation. The results obtained through in vitro tests are comparable to the in vivo assays and clinical observations to determine iron bioavailability. The increase in the iron bioavailability in the presence of pomegranate juice is not just because of its AA content. Other organic acids, sugars and polyphenols present in pomegranate juice might as well have a role in modulation of iron bioavailability. Iron assimilation into cells was measured in terms of the cellular ferritin content. The pomegranate juice (containing ~13 mg/100 ml natural ascorbic acid equivalent) increased the dialysability of iron by >3 fold when compared to control in the cell free model. An equivalent concentration of ascorbic acid alone increased it only by 1.6-fold. Additionally, the pomegranate juice increased the iron uptake in Caco2 cells by ~6-fold and ferritin content by 30% when compared to the ascorbic acid control. Similarly, the pomegranate juice enhanced the iron uptake in HepG2 cells by ~3 fold and iron assimilation by about 50%. This study establishes a scientific evidence for Ayurveda’s claim of using pomegranate in the management of iron deficiency anemia (IDA) by facilitating iron absorption and assimilation. It provides a simple solution for addressing the global problem of IDA. Synergistic action of multiple phytochemicals, over and above ascorbic acid, in pomegranate juice may be responsible for improving iron bioavailability. In this respect, there is a clear distance between a natural synergistic formula and a synthetic approach; which in turn proves yet again that there is a long way until we fully grasp the underlying working mechanism. Our products are 100% on natural ingredients and bioactive compounds and therefore a possible interference between these components should not exist.

      What about oxalate? ❤
      Regarding, your comment on oxalate. Kindly let us know should you require anything specific information. Receiving daily our pomegranate concentrate should have your daily calcium needs mostly covered, which should contribute towards keeping your urine oxalate at low levels. However, especially with pomegranate, it is always best to seek medical advice prior to use.

      Is there any alcohol in the final product?
      The answer is no. All our current and under development products are alcohol free.

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