Does your teen binge on junk food instead of consuming a healthy diet? Do you worry your teen may not be getting the essential nutrients during her growth years?
Iron is a mineral that aids overall health and development, especially in the teenage years. Read the article to know how iron deficiency can affect your teen. Also, learn about various iron rich foods for teens.
Why Is Iron Important For Teenagers?
Iron is a mineral that is present in certain foods in a natural form (1). Iron helps the red blood cells carry oxygen to different parts of the body. It is also very important for the proper functioning of your teen’s muscles and brain (2). Not having an iron-rich diet can lead to an iron deficiency in your teen. It could also cause anemia especially after the onset of puberty.
What Is Anemia?
Hemoglobin is the protein that carries oxygen from your teen’s lungs to the various body tissues. The red blood cells in your teen’s body have iron in its hemoglobin. Iron gives the strength to hemoglobin to carry the oxygen through the blood . When your teen has a deficiency of iron, it means that her body is not able to produce enough hemoglobin. It implies that your teen has a low count of red blood cells or anemia. Anemia directly affects how your teen’s body functions.
[ Read: Diet Tips For Teenage Girl ]
What Are The Iron Rich Foods For Teens?
Here is a list of iron rich foods for teenagers, that you should include in their diet on a regular basis (3):
- Green vegetables like spinach, green pepper, broccoli stalk, potato
- Lentils, beans, tofu, lima beans, chickpeas, split peas, kidney beans
- Meats like beef, ham, chicken liver, turkey
- Fish like salmon, tuna, halibut, haddock, veal
- Seafoods like oysters and clams
- Cereals fortified with iron
- Pumpkin, squash or sesame seeds
- Wheat germ
- Dry fruits like walnuts, pistachios, prunes, peaches, raisins and dried apricots
- Pasta, bread, and bagel
[ Read: Healthy Diet For Teen Boys ]
Points To Remember:
There are certain foods that help your teen absorb iron better. On the other hand, there are a few foods that can hinder the absorption of iron (4). Here are a few tips that can help:
- Ask your teen to avoid beverages like tea or coffee so that she can absorb iron better from her diet.
- Your teenager must avoid any calcium intake while taking an iron-rich diet.
- Increase your adolescent’s Vitamin C intake to boost her iron absorption . Foods like strawberries, broccoli or orange juice are rich in Vitamin C.
[ Read: Calcium Needs For Teens ]
Should I Give Iron Supplements For Teens?
If your teen is suffering from an acute iron deficiency, your doctor may recommend an iron supplement for her . He will also advise you about the dosage.
Just like an iron deficiency is not good, similarly an overdose of iron causes various health hazards. It can also prove to be fatal in some cases.
Give your child a balanced diet so that she can get all the vital nutrients naturally.
[ Read: Nutritional Requirements For Teenagers ]
Now you know what to include in your teen’s diet to keep the threat of anemia at bay.
So, why wait? Try some healthy, iron-rich recipes to pamper your adolescent’s taste buds.
If your teen has suffered from anemia, please share your list of dos and don’ts. Also, if you know some delicious iron-rich recipes that your teen drools over, please write back. We would love to hear from you!
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