We all have our own hopes and dreams but whether it is to become the prime minister of India, the best journalist in the world or simply to watch your child grow up and to be there for them, we need to ensure that we stay fit and fiddle. For this, we need to get the right amount of sleep, drink plenty of water and eat healthy and nutritious foods every day.
The most important nutrient that we all need is iron. Iron helps our body function properly. It is the main component in haemoglobin which helps supply oxygen to the rest of the body. Sadly, most women in India lack this basic nutrient. In addition to eating iron-rich foods, we also need to consume Vitamin C rich foods (orange, guava, papaya, tomato, kiwi, strawberries, etc) in order to be able to absorb iron from our diet.
We know that spinach and red meat are great sources of iron and that we should consume it on a daily basis. If you are looking for something apart from boring old spinach to help meet your iron needs, then keep reading.
1. Beans and lentils
If you ever needed an excuse to chow down on your favourite rajma curry, here is one. Just half a cup of rajma will help you meet 10% of your daily iron requirement. A mixed dal is also perfect if you want to make the most of your mealtime as it is loaded with both protein and iron.
2. Pumpkin seeds
Have you ever tried eating pumpkin seeds? No? Then, beware! This food is quite addictive. You can eat them raw or roasted although raw pumpkin seeds have twice iron content than the roasted ones. Eating raw pumpkin seeds makes up 30% of your daily iron requirement.
There are so many dishes you can make with the humble egg that one can simply not get bored of it. Almost every delicious recipe has it and guess what? Having 2 eggs per day will help you meet 8% of your daily iron intake as it contains heme iron which gets absorbed into the blood easily. Not a big fan of eggs? Don’t worry. If you are indeed eating all the other foods mentioned here, you will only have to eat one egg as it also helps absorb the non-heme iron (not easily absorbed) from foods.
4. Dark chocolate
You will be delighted to know that eating 100 gms of dark chocolate will actually help you meet 35% of your daily iron requirement. It may be less sweet compared to milk chocolates but it is definitely much healthier. Also, if you are being given a health-related reason to eat dark chocolates, why not eat them? (in moderation though)
5. Dry fruit
Add a handful of dry fruit to everything you eat. They are great sources of a whole range of nutrients and this is why you should always carry them along wherever you go (instead of that spare packet of chips or chocolate wafers). Dried apricots and raisins are especially great sources of iron and so you should add them on to your sweet treats like yoghurt, oatmeal, breakfast cereal or a fruit salad.