Did you know that iron is a trace mineral (a micronutrient), and its deficiency causes fatigue and tiredness in the gym?
If you find you lack energy to lift weights or to sustain cardio till the end of the class, then it could well be iron deficiency. Muscle soreness and post workout fatigue are also signs that you might be iron deficient. And because we have our monthly menses, we are more prone to this than men. We should get at least 15mg of iron a day into our system, in order to perform at optimum efficiency.
Trace minerals are a group of minerals that the body needs in very small amounts. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for most vitamins and minerals is 800 to 1,200 milligrams per day. For trace minerals, the RDA averages between 0.2 milligrams and 15 milligrams per day, depending on the mineral.
Trace minerals include iron, zinc, manganese, copper, fluoride, molybdenum iodine, chromium, selenium. Of the trace minerals, iron, copper, zinc and selenium are the most important.
Here are 5 great sources of iron for women :
1 cup lentils = 6.59 mg of iron
Try this recipe : Sweet potato, spinach & lentil dahl (the fact that you also have spinach makes it even more iron packed!)
Cost-effective and ready in 30 minutes, this veggie supper makes an ideal midweek meal. Put all the ingredients except the sweet potato, spinach and naans in a pan, bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Add the sweet potato and cook until tender, another 10-12 minutes. Stir in the spinach and cook for a minute until wilted. Serve with naans.
3 ounces beef = 5.24 mg of iron
Who on earth does not like steak? If you aren’t vegetarian, then add steak to the list as it is packed with iron.
My favourite recipe : Ribeye Steak Chargrilled
It isn’t a recipe really. Just get the best cut of ribeye. Season it with salt and pepper and you are good to go. Just slap it on the grill and let its own fats cook it. Medium rare is my favourite, what about you?
3 ounces oysters = 5.91 mg of iron
You may not always find a pearl in oysters, but you’ll always get a healthy dose of iron! They’re also full of calcium, not to mention they’re a proven aphrodisiac.
It’s best raw so : Order up half a dozen rock oysters, add lemon to taste and slurp it up!
1 cup spinach = 6.43 mg of iron
Tender, fresh spinach is delicious in salads, pasta, soups and dips and is an easy, healthy addition to many meals. Plus it’s versatile – you can eat it raw or cooked. And spinach is packed with nutrients, such as folate, vitamin E and lutein, to keep your body strong. Not to mention tons of iron.
Try this recipe : Spinach Soup
Heat the butter in a large saucepan. Add the spring onions, leek, celery and potato. Stir and put on the lid. Sweat for 10 minutes, stirring a couple of times. Pour in the stock and cook for 10 – 15 minutes until the potato is soft. Add the spinach and cook for a couple of minutes until wilted. Use a hand blender to blitz to a smooth soup. Stir in the crème fraîche. Reheat and serve.
1 cup chickpeas = 4.74 mg of iron
Chickpeas are also good source of fiber, and iron. They can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
Best way to eat chickpeas is from the “kacang-putih” man : steamed and just lightly salted. Some are so tasty you don’t even need salt!