10 reasons why we need iron in our diet and how to include it.

Iron is one of the best known minerals and can be obtained from many plant foods as well as animal products. It is vital to have the correct balance of iron in our diet. Many substances and health conditions can inhibit how we absorb iron. Conversely, there are a number of nutrients that will increase our absorption of iron. As iron is not easily eliminated, high levels can build up in the body. It is therefore essential to have your iron levels checked regularly if taking an iron supplement. 


  • To carry oxygen around the body
  • The formation of DNA
  • Function of some enzymes
  • Helps to protect our cells from damage
  • Supports thyroid function ( which controls our metabolism)
  • Prevention of anaemia
  • Energy production and prevention fatigue
  • Brain development and function
  • Healthy nails and hair
  • The function of our immune system


  • Dark green leafy vegetables: Parsley, broccoli,  spinach, Swiss chard, bok choy , kale
  • Other vegetables and fruit; asparagus, leeks, green peas, cauliflower, strawberries, black berries
  • Nuts and seeds; almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, walnuts, pecans sunflower seeds, sesame seeds
  • Beans and pulses; lentils, soy beans, chickpeas, lima beans, navy beans, black beans, kidney beans
  • Wholegrains; millet, brown rice, whole wheat
  • Animal products; beef liver, kidney, lean beef pork, lamb and eggs


Warming Swiss Chard and Lentil Soup
•    In a pan melt 1 teaspoon of coconut oil and add 1 chopped onion and sauté on a medium heat for around five minutes
•    Add 2 tablespoons of tomato paste, 2 teaspoons of chopped thyme, season with Himalayan salt and pepper and stir
•    Add 1 cup of rinsed lentils,1 tin of chopped tomatoes and 5 cups of water, bring to the boil and then simmer for 15 minutes
•    Add the chopped chard stalks and cook for approximately 10 minutes
•     Add the chopped chard leaves and cook for another 15 minutes until all the ingredients are soft
•    Stir in 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, serve into bowls and drizzle with olive oil

My weekly ‘Nutrient Spotlight’ written for Fields to Fork Organics

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