Breakfast: what to eat to get iron

Breakfast: what to eat to get iron


Iron is a very important element for health, which is why it is essential to maintain the right amount in the body.

What is iron used for?

This mineral is present in the hemoglobin of red blood cells , where it participates in the transport of oxygen and carbon dioxide. Furthermore, it is essential in the production of energy and in the correct functioning of the metabolism .

Eating iron-rich foods can also ease PMS symptoms .

What does its deficiency mean?

The daily requirement for iron in an adult man is about 10-12 milligrams, in a  child  7-9 mg and in a  woman about 18 mg. However, if the woman is in menopause , the iron requirement approaches that of a man, while if she is pregnant , it increases considerably, up to 30 mg. Finally, during menstruation , since the loss of blood also corresponds to a loss of iron, the latter should be supplemented even more than during the rest of the month.

Its deficiency in the body is very harmful and, if significant and prolonged over time, can lead to anemia .In childhood and adolescence, the lack of iron leads to a lack of oxygen to the tissues and a consequent slowing of growth. In adults or athletes, on the other hand, it often leads to a reduction in performance.

Some of the clearest symptoms that show too low iron levels are: paleness , hair loss , headache , weakness, chronic tiredness , exhaustion and brittle nails , bad mood, reduced concentration and productive capacity.

The importance of nutrition

Since in 50% of cases iron deficiency depends on a poor nutritional intake , the first thing to do is make sure you have a balanced diet and eat foods that contain enough iron.

Maintaining a healthy diet is very important and you should try to do it even during the Christmas holidays .

There are  two types of dietary iron : heme  iron , present in foods of  animal origin  and easily absorbed by the body; and the  non- heme one , mainly contained in  plants  and assimilated to  a lesser extent  than the first one.

Equally important, to maintain a general and optimal state of health, also keep the balance of the intestinal microbiota under control.

Iron at breakfast

There are many foods rich in iron and many of these, especially those of vegetable origin, are perfect to be eaten for breakfast , in order to give the right start to the day. In this article we have compared sweet and savory breakfasts.

Cereals as a priority source

Cereals , which naturally already constitute one of the primary options in terms of breakfast , contain a considerable amount of iron and for this reason it is recommended to take around 30/40 g per day , to be consumed for example in milk (the benefits of boiling milk ) as an alternative to biscuits.

There are many possibilities on the market to choose from to enrich the most important meal of the day and the optimal idea is to be guided by taste , given that the consumption of these foods should be constant and perpetuate over time. The only caveat is to keep the presence of fibers as low as possible which, on the contrary, in large quantities inhibit the assimilation of iron.

If you aim to assimilate as much iron as possible, it is good to consider that the primacy for the quantity of iron content goes to  wheat bran with 12.9 mg/100g, followed by: wheat germ with 10mg, wheat 6.0 mg , soy 6.9 mg, muesli 5.6 mg, rolled oats 5.2 mg, oatmeal 4.2 mg, buckwheat 4 mg.

Eating oatmeal foods for breakfast also helps reduce bloating .

For a healthy breakfast, you can also choose low-carb cereals .

To consume them, you can choose just one or combine several and create a personal mix, to which you can add other iron-rich foods. Breakfast cereals, and oats in particular, are part of the list of healthy and cheap foods that must never be missing in a balanced diet.

Dried fruit, dark chocolate and eggs

Another food friend of this mineral is dried fruit or walnuts (2.9 mg), almonds (4.51 mg), hazelnuts (4.70 mg), peanuts (4.58 mg) or pistachios (3.9 mg) , which can always be eaten alone for breakfast or broken into small pieces and added to the cereal mix.

Good news for gourmands. Bitter dark chocolate is one of the foods richest in iron (17.4 mg) and it too can be added in flakes to cereals or dried fruit or eaten alone .

Always chocolate, it brings many benefits to the brain, given by the flavonols contained in cocoa .

If you love a savory breakfast, it is important to know that eggs are also a very important source of iron, this time heme, being of animal origin.

Foods that favor the assimilation of Iron

To take iron correctly, however, it is not enough to eat foods rich in iron, it is also necessary to know how to combine them correctly to ensure optimal absorption of the mineral.

To get the most out of that contained in cereals it is essential to associate it with vitamin C.

The simplest idea is to drink orange or grapefruit juice every morning . Alternatively, you can eat a kiwi or add some currants to cereals and dried fruit.

Beware of tea and coffee

On the other hand, there are also some foods that hinder the absorption of iron and which, therefore, should not be combined with those that favor it.

Already mentioned about the fibers , it is also important to pay attention to tea and coffee . This does not mean eliminating them completely from the diet, but it is preferable to consume them away from sources of iron, therefore not at breakfast.

Thumbs down also for wheat flour , which prevents 75% of its assimilation.



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