Our bodies need iron; it is used in the body to make up haemoglobin the part of the blood that transports oxygen around the body.
A deficiency of iron in the body will produce anaemia. This is characterised by a feeling of weakness, tiredness and shortness of breath. Extreme iron deficiency is rare but can be life threatening.
If you are iron deficient you may be prescribed an iron supplement by your doctor. You can also incorporate plenty of iron rich foods into your daily paleo diet.
My Top 5 Iron rich Foods for a Paleo Diet
- Dark and leafy green leaved vegetables like spinach, watercress and kale cooked is best. Cooked kale has 0.9% iron in 100g.
- Liver – duck is one of the highest at with 30.5mg iron per 100g serving. Pork liver contains 17.9mg iron per 100g serving.
- Beef T-Bone steak cooked has around 2.8mg per 100g.
- Shrimp or prawns cooked contain 3.1 mg per 100g – cooked.
- Chocolate 100% cocoa powder provides a whopping 17.4mg per 100g.
How Much Iron do I Need?
According to the NHS site, if your body is not iron deficient then…….
The amount of iron you need is:
8.7mg a day for men
14.8mg a day for women
You should be able to get all the iron you need from your daily diet.
Women who lose a lot of blood during their monthly period may need to take iron supplements. Speak to your GP or a state-registered dietitian for more advice.
However if you are already iron deficient you will need to take advice from your doctor on the right amount supplementation you will need.
Also from the NHS website are some symptoms that may be caused by eating too much iron.
The side effects of taking high doses of iron include:
Very high doses of iron can be fatal, particularly if taken by children, so always keep iron supplements out of the reach of children.
This video gives a good overview on Iron.