The recommended daily amount of iron varies depending on a person’s age. Most women need 18 milligrams per day, while most men need only 8 milligrams.
Iron is found naturally in many foods, and is added to some fortified food products. You can get recommended amounts of iron by eating a variety of foods, including lean meat, seafood, and poultry. Beans, nuts, and some dried fruits such as raisins have iron. Typically, non-gluten grains and other products are enriched or fortified with iron. Not all gluten-free grains and products are enriched/fortified but some incorporate other nutritious ingredients such as amaranth, flax, millet, and quinoa.
Ways to Boost Iron Intake
- Consume iron-rich foods. A serving of beans of all varieties is a good source of iron. Try this Aprons recipe, Lentil Garden Salad
, as a side dish.
- Boost absorption. Iron in food comes in two forms: heme iron and nonheme iron. The heme iron, predominantly found in meat or seafood, is more absorbable than the nonheme iron, found in plant foods and iron-fortified food products. Combining the two at one meal helps, as does consuming iron with foods high in vitamin C, such as citrus. Also, separate iron-rich foods from those high in calcium, such as milk and cheese; the two minerals compete for absorption.