Estimated Amounts Needed
- Women and teenage girls need at least 15 mg a day, whereas men can get by on 10.
- It is important that children get about 10 to 12 mg of iron per day, preferably from their diet. Breastfeeding is the best insurance against iron deficiency in babies.
- Most at risk of iron deficiency are infants, adolescent girls and pregnant women.
- Iron deficiency in infants can result in impaired learning ability and behavioral problems. It can also affect the immune system and cause weakness and fatigue.
- To aid in the absorption of iron, eat foods rich in vitamin C at the same time you eat the food containing iron. The tannin in non-herbal tea can hinder absorption of iron.
- Take iron supplements and your vitamin E at different times of the day, as the iron supplements will tend to neutralize the vitamin E.
- Vegetarians need to get twice as much dietary iron as meat eaters.
- While most fruits have some iron, probably the best source of iron for children is raisins, which are rich in iron. Other fruits which have a good amount of iron are:
- Amaranth leaves
- Brussels Sprouts
- Butternut squash
- French Beans
- Lima Beans
- Most nuts contain a small amount of iron.
- Wheat - Durum
- Wheat - Hard Red
- Wheat - Hard White