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Iron rich foods - help!

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Not sure if this is the right forum, but let's give it a whirl.

I've searched the forums for iron - end up with lots of info on cooking equipment :) Which is lovely but not really what I'm hoping for help on.

My son has decided to go on a white meat diet (chicken and fishonly) and has cut all red meat (powers that be Save Me!! he is thin as a rake but has some belly flab- exercise won't shift it) but still eating normally apart from cutting out red meat. We eat a pretty varied diet, lots of fruits, veg, grains, dairy etc & so on.

I'm worrying that he is at risk of becoming iron deficient. I don't want to go the supplement route - that is best handled by nutritionists as you can overload your system. What foods would be best increased/ added to the diet to lessen this risk?

I've googled it and found the basic foods, and probably could work it out myself. Was wondering if anyone had any experience of coping with something like this and what you increased to balance the dropping of red meat from a diet.

Any comments would be much appreciated. He's 16, still a growing lad, very active, good appetite but is obsessed by his so called "spare tyre" (yeah - he's noticing girls!:rolleyes:)

Thanks
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #2 of 11
Try putting "iron rich foods" in you search engine. Spinach is one, and I believe most dark green leafy vegetables are high in iron.
post #3 of 11
Kale is huge.....I eat russian kale raw.

When you check out iron, also check out complimentary things that help him digest the iron rich food better.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #4 of 11
We have a history of anemia in our family, so iron has always been a big issue for us. Our doctors always told us to cook with soy sauce. There is a lot of information on the web about iron fortified soy sauce. I don’t know if all the soy sauce on the market today is iron fortified, but even when dinosaurs roamed the earth (when I was little) soy sauce (presumably unfortified) was something people predisposed to anemia were encouraged to add to their diets.
post #5 of 11
My daughter is a vegetarian, and eats no meat of any kind nor any fish. She went through an entire pregnancy with a very large baby and NO anemia at all. So you really don;t have to worry about iron just because he doesn;t eat red meat.

Keep in mind that iron on its own is not enough, because some substances in foods are necessary to make it possible for the body to assimilate it - generally folic acid is important, such as in leafy green vegetables.
So it;s important to eat a combination of things, many different foods, many colors together.

Lentils are good in iron, as are egg yolks, all dark green vegetables like spinach, swiss chard, broccoli, broccoli rabe or broccoletti, etc, I believe raisins. Even potatoes contain iron.

If you want a very thoroughly researched source, i recommend Laurel's Kitchen cookbook, which is for vegetarians and has lots of well-documented research behind it.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your tips everyone - he's not a fan of green veg - yet :) but he soon will be! Eggs he loves so that's good, loves a good veg soup too so lots of lentils will help boost the iron intake.

Its more a matter of me tweeking my cooking to suit. It won't be that much of a change from what I cook now. The major factor is me fretting - I'm sure he'll survive.

Thanks again
Daina
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #7 of 11
check out the "ready to eat" breakfast cereals - they are iron fortified.

if you pull up the Nutritional Database you find breakfast cereals that have 4-6 times as much iron per 100 grams as spinach.
post #8 of 11
Yeah, lots of stuff has iron added. At that point you can also take iron pills. Is there a difference in the iron they add to food and the iron you take in pills?
What i always understood is that the absorption of substances like iron is context-dependent. Iron in its own is not assimilated, while iron in greens is because in the greens are other substances that facilitate the assimilation. Sometimes it happens the opposite way too. I believe spinach has a decent quantity of calcium but some of its other components make the body not assimilate the calcium.

DC sunshine, the pureed soups usually go over surprisingly well. I used to make a good minestrone type soup a couple of times a week, and puree it for the kids, who would actually like it, even if they didn;t like the components.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
I've seen a lot about greens but needing to match them with something containing Vitamin C for the higher iron absorption - Broccoli in a tomato sauce springs to mind.

We have a seven veg (onion, celery, tomato, swede, leek, carrot, bean, corn) - oops that's 8 - and red lentil pureed soup today with multigrain rolls and greek yoghurt. That should suit the case. Although its a normal weekend lunch anyway :) Plus it was made with homemade chicken stock (fat removed as usual) so that should add to the iron intake.

I agree, Siduri - if you tried to serve them some of the stuff that goes into pureed soups as a separate side on its own, say swedes (rutabagas), they wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole!

I don't really think he's at that much risk to be honest of becoming iron deficient - its probably me panicking more of course :), now that I've sat down and looked at what we do eat normally. I'll just lean it more toward those things with iron and Vit C.

And re the cereals - we are using ones without having chosen them for the purpose previously which are already iron fortified. No major changes needed I reckon.

Soy sauce too, we do a couple of stir fries a week which always has soy in it, so that is good. I was surprised to see that its a source of iron - would never have guessed.
You live and you learn.

Thanks again peoples
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #10 of 11
I would not doubt for an instant that <some kind> of interaction(s) exists which affects how the body uses/absorbs/whatever pretty much anything. exactly what those circumstances and relationships are, no clue. more fun just munching on a little bit of everything <g>

the snake oil salesmen on late night tv seem to know all about it tho....

there is some pretty good evidence that 'fortified' stuff helps - iodine in salt has petty much eliminated rickets, milk with vit. added is another well studied case. probably unwise to assume that because (A) worked / showed benefit that means (B) will also.
post #11 of 11

I have some great food recipes, but only vegetables and meat...i tried to heal my organism from toxines by using minoxidil for my hair


Edited by emmarogers - 10/30/12 at 1:13pm
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