WOMEN

WOMENANDIRON

Lack of iron is the most common nutritional deficiency in the world, even in the Western world where most of our dietary problems stem from eating too much rather than too little. Women are particularly at risk.

Many women lead busy lives and often feel tired, lethargic and run down, which are common symptoms of iron deficiency.

WHAT ARE THE MAIN CAUSES OF LOW IRON LEVELS?

  • Not eating enough iron-rich foods, for example those on restrictive diets and vegetarians.
  • Increased demand for iron, for example during pregnancy, to replace blood loss (from menstruation), in times of growth such as adolescence, or strenuous physical activity.

HOW MUCH IRON DO I NEED?

Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI) of Iron per day:

 

mg

Girls 9-13 years 8
Teenage Women 14-18 years 15
Women 19-50 years 18
Pregnant Women 27
Breastfeeding women 19-50 years 9
Women 51 years + 8


AN IRON-RICH DIET IN A FEW EASY STEPS

  • Eat foods high in haem iron (found in beef, lamb, seafood and poultry).
  • Eat foods high in non-haem iron (found in wholegrain breads, vegetables, fruit, legumes, nuts, eggs and some breakfast cereals) and combine them with haem iron foods to help absorption.
  • Eat foods high in vitamin C at every meal as this helps increase non-haem absorption. For example, eat fruit with your breakfast cereal.
  • Avoid drinking tea and coffee with main meals as elements of these drinks inhibit iron absorption,

ABSORPTION EXAMPLE

For a woman to get half of her daily iron needs from beef, she needs to eat just 120g of lean beef steak. To get the same amount of iron from silverbeet, she needs to eat a massive 1kg.

WHY ELSE SHOULD I EAT BEEF AND LAMB?

As well as tasting great and being versatile, lean beef and lamb are nutritionally dense foods, in other words - packed full of nutrients. They are excellent sources of the essential minerals, iron and zinc and good sources of B vitamins,  not to mention providing high quality protein, and a small amount of vitamin D, selenium and omega 3.

The protein in lean beef and lamb may help to curb your appetite if you want to control your weight. This is because protein has a satiety effect (you feel full or satisfied for longer).

Lean beef and lamb are low in fat, with over 40 cuts meeting the Heart Foundation Two Ticks having less than 4% saturated fat and being a core food for a heart healthy diet.  The Heart Foundation states women can include 100-150g of lean meat in their daily diet.

 

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