The importance of iron | Ponca City News

I see quite a few patients who are low on iron. Without adequate iron, they feel fatigued and without energy, with impaired brain function and a weakened immune system.

They are not alone. Iron deficiency is on the rise, according to a 2021 study in the Journal of Nutrition. The study found that since 1999 the rates of people treated for severe anemia and related deaths have increased. Long-term, untreated iron deficiency can contribute to heart disease and even death from cardiovascular disease.

The researchers attribute the rise in iron deficiency simply to a drop in iron intake: less consumption of red meat and more plant-based foods. The form of iron in plants is not as bioavailable to us as the iron in animal foods. Also, certain natural parts of plants (phytates and tannins) can bind iron and limit the amount absorbed by the body. Certain medical conditions can also result in iron deficiency.

An adequate amount of iron is needed to make hemoglobin and myoglobin, essential parts of red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout the body. The recommended amount for men ages 19 to 50 is 8 milligrams per day, and 18 milligrams of iron per day for premenopausal women, according to the National Academy of Sciences.

The best sources of heme (iron from animal sources) include meat, poultry, fish, and eggs. The best sources of nonheme (from plant-based foods) include legumes, whole grains, spinach, dark chocolate, and fortified foods.

You can improve iron absorption from plant foods by combining them with vitamin C-rich foods, adding strawberries or orange slices to your spinach or blueberry salad, and kiwi slices to iron-fortified cereals. Some whole grains have more iron than others. Farina is a good plant-based source of iron that can be topped with your favorite berries.

Q and AQ: I read that eating vegetables can help prevent liver cancer. That’s right?

A: Eating more vegetables is linked to a significant reduction in the risk of developing liver cancer, according to a study published by the American Association for Cancer Research. The researchers analyzed data from 470,000 people between the ages of 50 and 71 over 15 years. Those who ate 3 cups of vegetables a day were one-third less likely to develop liver cancer than those who ate 1 cup of vegetables a day. A 1-cup increase in daily intake was linked to a 20% lower risk of liver cancer and chronic liver mortality.

PRESCRIPTIONAugust makes me think of green courgettes – that’s when my mother’s garden would go crazy. Here is a great recipe for healthier zucchini flour muffins. They are healthier because they use a mix of white and whole wheat pastry flour, rolled oats, and apple butter. The recipe is from The Eating Well Recipe Rescue Cookbook.

ZUCCHINI AND OATMEAL MUFFINSServings: 16 1 1/2 cups white all-purpose flour 1 cup whole grain cake flour 1 1/2 cups sugar 1 tablespoon baking powder 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup toasted rolled oats 1/4 cup walnut halves, toasted and chopped 2 large eggs 3 large egg whites 1/2 cup apple butter 1/4 cup vegetable oil, preferably canola oil 2 cups grated zucchini (1 medium) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray 16 muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix together the flours, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, oatmeal, and walnuts. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg whites, apple butter, and oil. Add the zucchini. Stir this mixture into the dry ingredients with a rubber spatula until well combined. Pour batter into prepared muffin tins, filling about 3/4 full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until top is golden brown and springs back when pressed lightly. Makes 16 muffins.

Per muffin: 233 calories; 5 grams of protein; 42 grams of carbohydrates; 6 grams of fat; 27 milligrams of cholesterol; 213 milligrams of sodium.

Charlyn Fargo is a registered dietitian at SIU Med School in Springfield, Illinois. For comments or questions, contact her at [email protected] com or follow her on Twitter @NutritionRD. To learn more about Charlyn Fargo and to read articles by other Creators writers and artists, visit the Creators website at www. creators.com.

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