Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals which are an essential part of human life and growth. Therefore, they are essential because our body cannot make them and thus, we need to consume them through our diet.
If we do not consume enough micronutrients within our diet, deficiencies may develop that lead to a myriad of health issues.
Thus, in order to properly unveil all of the essential micronutrients and what their functions are within the body, a series of blogs will be released addressing each micronutrient individually.
Each blog will address the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) and the accompanying food sources of each micronutrient.
The first micronutrient we will unveil in our micronutrient series is Iron.
Iron – mineral
Iron is necessary for a host of functions within the body. Most notably, formation of red blood cells. The body produces 200 billion red blood cells (RBCs) daily, which comes out to about 20 milliliters (mL) of blood being produced daily.1
Moreover, Iron is necessary for physical growth, neurological development, cellular functioning, and synthesis of some hormones.2
Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency worldwide, affecting more than 15 percent of the global population as of 2010.3 In addition to contributing to cognitive developmental defects in children, poor physical performance, and unfavorable pregnancy outcomes.1
Even though iron is the most common nutritional deficiency, you can over consume iron. As a result, iron overload can negatively affect the liver, heart, and pancreas.1 Therefore, it is recommended to know what foods contain iron and how much you should consume on a daily basis. Below is a table of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for iron and food sources.
RDA for Iron
|Birth to 6 months||0.27 mg*||0.27 mg*|
|7–12 months||11 mg||11 mg|
|1–3 years||7 mg||7 mg|
|4–8 years||10 mg||10 mg|
|9–13 years||8 mg||8 mg|
|14–18 years||11 mg||15 mg||27 mg||10 mg|
|19–50 years||8 mg||18 mg||27 mg||9 mg|
|51+ years||8 mg||8 mg|
Food sources of Iron
|Selected Foods containing Iron||Milligrams|
|Breakfast cereals, fortified with 100% of the DV for iron, 1 serving||18||100|
|Oysters, eastern, cooked with moist heat, 3 ounces||8||44|
|White beans, canned, 1 cup||8||44|
|Chocolate, dark, 45%–69% cacao solids, 3 ounces||7||39|
|Beef liver, pan fried, 3 ounces||5||28|
|Lentils, boiled and drained, ½ cup||3||17|
|Spinach, boiled and drained, ½ cup||3||17|
Stay tuned for our next blog post in the micronutrients series on Iodine.
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Author: Jon Esposito MA, CSCS, CISSN, USAW