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Iron-rich Foods

"Sources of heme and non-heme iron"
By: Dona P. CoradoIron-rich Foods

The two forms of dietary iron are heme and non-heme iron. Heme iron is derived from hemoglobin, while non-heme iron comes from non-meat based food or plant foods, such as lentils, beans, and spinach. Heme iron, at a rate of 15-35 percent, is absorbed better than non-heme iron at 2-20 percent.

We get 3.5 mg or more of heme iron per serving of:

· 3 ounces of beef or chicken liver

· 3 ounces of clams, mollusks, or mussels

· 3 ounces of oysters

We get 2.1 mg or more of heme iron per serving of:

· 3 ounces of cooked beef

· 3 ounces of canned sardines, canned in oil

· 3 ounces of cooked turkey

We get 0.7 mg or more of heme iron per serving of:

· 3 ounces of chicken

· 3 ounces of halibut, haddock, perch, salmon, or tuna

· 3 ounces of ham

· 3 ounces of veal

We get 3.5 mg or more of non-heme iron per serving of:

· Breakfast cereals enriched with iron

· One cup of cooked beans

· One-half cup of tofu

· 1 ounce of pumpkin, sesame, or squash seeds

We get 2.1 mg or more per of non-heme iron per serving of:

· One-half cup of canned lima beans, red kidney beans, chickpeas, or split peas

· One cup of dried apricots

· One medium baked potato

· One medium stalk of broccoli

· One cup of cooked enriched egg noodles

· One-fourth cup of wheat germ

We get 0.7 mg or more, per serving of:

· 1 ounce of peanuts, pecans, walnuts, pistachios, roasted almonds, roasted cashews, or sunflower seeds

· One-half  cup of dried seedless raisins, peaches, or prunes

· One cup of spinach

· One medium green pepper

· One cup of pasta

· One slice of bread, pumpernickel bagel, or bran muffin

· One cup of rice

Incorporating these foods in your child’s daily diet helps him meet his required daily iron intake. It is also best to combine these foods with good sources of vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, and peppers to help the body absorb even more iron.

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