The Importance of Iron for Women

Iron is essential for the transport of oxygen in the body. Much of the body’s iron is found in the hemoglobin of the red blood cells where it assists oxygen delivery to all tissues. Iron is also found in the myoglobin component of muscle. It is stored in the liver, spleen and bone marrow. Adequate iron intake in the diet is needed to maintain optimum health, replenish iron stores, and prevent iron deficiency anemia.

COOKING TIPS:

Iron is best absorbed from the diet that is also rich in Vitamin C, so citrus fruits and juices should be consumed.
“Old-fashioned” cast iron cooking pots can add large amounts of iron to the diet. (A good idea for vegetarians.)

Recommended Daily Dietary Allowance RDA)*

  • Infants 20 lbs. 15 mg./day
  • Children ages 4-10 10 mg./day
  • Children ages 11-18 18 mg./day
  • Women 18 mg./day
  • Men 10 mg./day

Vegetarian Sources * *

Mg. of Iron Source Mg. of Iron Source

  • 10.5 Prune juice, 1 cup 2.6 Raisins, 1 /2 cup
  • 7.9 Black beans, 1 cup ckd. 2.6 Chard, 1 cup ckd.
  • 6.9 Garbanzo beans, 1 cup ckd. 2.4 Dates, 10 medium
  • 6.1 Pinto beans, 1 cup ckd. 2.4 Sesame meal, 1 /4 cup
  • 5.1 Navy beans, 1 cup ckd. 2.3 Tofu, 4 ozs.
  • 4.9 Soybeans, 1 cup ckd. 2.2 Tomato juice, 1 cup
  • 4.8 Rice bran, 1 /4 cup 2.1 Wheat berries, 1 /3 cup dry
  • 4.3 Lima beans, green, 1 cup ckd. 2.1 Butternut squash, baked 1 cup
  • 4.2 Lentils, 1 cup ckd. 2.0 Pumpkin seeds, 2 tbsp.
  • 4.0 Spinach, 1 cup ckd. 1.9 Wheat bran, 1 /4 cup
  • 3.9 Peach halves, dried, 5 1.8 Soybean milk, 1 cup
  • 3.2 Blackstrap molasses, 1 tbsp. 1.8 Kale, 1 cup ckd.
  • 2.9 Peas, fresh, 1 cup 1.8 Prunes, 5 ckd.
  • 2.8 Beet greens, 1 cup ckd. 1.7 Brussel sprouts, 8 ckd.
  • 1.5 Torula yeast, 1 tbsp. 1.5 Strawberries, 1 cup
  • 1.4 Potato, cooked, large 1.4 Oatmeal, 1 cup, ckd.
  • 3.0 Mustard & dandelion greens 3.2 Peanuts, 3 1 /2 oz.

Dairy Sources *

    Mg. of Iron Source Mg. of Iron Source
  • .1-.3 Most cheeses 1 oz. 1.3 Egg, 1 whole, large
  • (1″ x 1″ x 1″) Trace milk and yogurt, 1 cup 1.2 Egg, yolk only

Meat Sources *

Mg. of Iron Source Mg. of Iron Source

  • 3.6 Most beef cuts, 4 oz. portion 4.5 Calf liver, 1 slice 3″x2″x3/8
  • 2.2 Lean pork, 2 trimmed slices 2.8 Oysters, 4 medium
  • 1.7 Lamb (1 lean trimmed chop) 1.6 Tuna (canned in water) 1/2 cup
  • 1.6 Shrimp, 3 1 /2 oz. fresh 1.1 Chicken, 3 1 /2 oz. boneless .4 Fish sticks, 1 serving

Information from:

* Food Values of Portions Commonly Used, Bowes and Church, J.B. Lippincott, Co., Philadelphia/Toronto, Copyright 1970
* Laurel’s Kitchen, A Handbook for Vegetarian Cookery and Nutrition. Nilgiri Press. Copyright 1976 pg. 505

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