Ask Leah! The Ingles Dietitian

Sponsored: All about iron

Sponsored: All about iron

What foods are the best sources of iron? Animal, fish/seafood and poultry products are the best and offer the most bioavailable (easily absorbed) source of iron which is known as “heme” iron. Enriched grains, nuts, seeds, beans, and plants also contain iron, but it is “nonheme” iron which is not as easily absorbed without a source of vitamin C. 

How much iron do you need per day? 

  • Men: 8mg/day
  • Women: 19-50 years old-18mg; over 50+years: 8 mg (pregnant and lactating need higher quantity).

Who might become deficient in iron? 

Most people who eat an omnivorous (varied) diet will get an adequate amount of iron but individuals in the groups below should pay special attention to their diet to make sure they are getting adequate iron. 

  • individuals who follow a strict vegetarian or vegan diet with no animal products.
  • during pregnancy
  • if experiencing heavy menstruation
  • individuals being treated for cancer
  • individuals with gastrointestinal diseases(e.g. celiac disease, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease) or who have had gastrointestinal surgery (e.g. bariatric surgery)
  • individuals with heart failure

These individuals can more easily become anemic and may require iron supplements or supplements with iron and should make an effort to have meals that include foods high in iron.

Leah McGrath, RDN, LDN

Ingles Markets Corporate Dietitian

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