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10 Iron-Rich Foods for Active Women

10 Iron-Rich Foods for Active Women

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The human body can't produce iron, but this mineral helps regulate cell growth and contributes to healthy muscles and immune system—plus, red blood cells rely on iron to carry oxygen throughout the body. So where do we get it? Food! 

Foods derived from animals like beef, pork, chicken, fish, and eggs have a type of iron called heme iron, which is more easily absorbed. Foods derived from plant sources like beans, lentils, peas, leafy green vegetables, and some seeds contain non-heme iron, which is more difficult for the body to absorb. (Ask the Diet Doctor: Are Plants or Meat Better Sources of Iron?) The trick is that non-heme iron is more easily absorbed with foods containing vitamin C, like tomatoes, potatoes, bell peppers, and citrus fruit or juice.

The recommended daily amount for adults is 18 milligrams—and women tend to need more iron then men, since we don't store it as well (sigh). Another problem? Iron is considered the most common deficiency not only in the United States, but also in the world. So don't slack off when it comes to adding this mineral to your diet. Pack it in with these 10 iron-rich recipes. 

Slow Cooker Chickpea and Lentil Chili

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Mini Grass Fed Beef & Quinoa Meatloaves

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Tuna Spinach Bowl

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Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

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Swedish Pea Soup

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Smoky Black Bean Tacos

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Vegetarian Bolognese Over Polenta Cakes

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Roasted Beet and Pepita Winter Salad

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