Incorporating iron-rich cereals in the meal menu is a sure way to provide optimal amount of iron required by the body. Read through this article to know the list of cereals high in iron, which you can include in the regular diet plan.
Iron is one of the essential minerals that play a crucial role in proper functioning of the body. This is evident from the fact that the hemoglobin is made up of iron and globin proteins. In short, iron is crucial for the formation of red blood cells and normal blood circulation. Consequently, lack of iron leads to various medical problems, of which iron deficiency or anemia is one of them. Including veggies and legumes, cereals high in iron is an easy way to minimize the risk of medical problems related to iron deficiency.
As per the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) data, the amount of iron required by the body is 8-18 mg per day. The recommended amount of iron for an adult women is 18 mg per day whereas for men it is 8 mg. The amount varies in accordance to the age and gender of the individual. Like for instance; girls in the age group 9-13 years need 8 mg iron per day; while teenage girls who have entered menstruation stage require 15 mg iron per day. Likewise, men above 19 years old and women over 50 years require 8 mg iron on a daily basis whereas a pregnant woman needs 27mg of iron per day.
There are various sources of iron which can help the body to function properly. Among these plant-based foods such as cereals are the most common ones. They are rich in iron and can be consumed in various forms. We can divide cereals into three types:
These cereals include multigrain cheerios, cornflakes and other such cereals which can be eaten without being cooking. They may actually fulfill an adult woman’s entire iron requirement for a day as it contains about 17 to 18mg of iron in one cup of cereal.
Hot Instant Cereals
They include instant oatmeal, brown rice cereals etc. They may contain 10 to 13 mg of iron per packet.
Cooked Whole Grain
These cereals are easy to cook and contain considerably good amount of iron. They include oatmeal, quinoa, cooked pearled barley, etc.
Cold cereals can give you 1.8 to 21.1 mg of iron, whereas hot cereals gives you comparatively less amount of iron i.e. 4.9 to 8.1 mg. So, if you have a deficiency of iron, it is better to concentrate on cold cereals. The following are some of the cereals rich in iron, which can be included in the menu for iron rich diet:
- Millet – When compared to finger millets, the pearl millets contain more iron, i.e. about 8 mg per 100 g serving size.
- Sorghum – Another in the list of cereals high in iron is sorghum. Consuming 100 g of sorghum yields approximately 4.2 mg iron.
- Wheat – Wheat germ, cream of wheat and wheat flakes are very rich in iron mineral. Serving 2 tablespoons of wheat germ yields as much as 1.2 mg iron.
- Oat – Consuming one packet of ready to eat or instant oatmeal is similar to providing 6.3 mg of iron.
- Cornflakes – The cornflakes sold in food centers are high in iron content. Serving one cup of cornflakes is sufficient in providing 47 percent of the daily iron requirement.
- Barley – In one cup serving size or 157 g of barley, the amount of iron content is 2.1 mg, which is about 12 percent of the daily requirement.
- Quinoa – Not actually a cereal, but considered as a false cereal, quinoa is also a rich source of iron, calcium and complete amino acids.
- Bran Flakes – Consuming 1 cup of bran flakes is sufficient for providing 11 mg of iron.
Iron-rich Breakfast Cereals
Nearly all people, irrespective of age and gender, start their day with a bowl of fortified cereal and a glass of milk (or juice). In most of the cases, the breakfast cereals are supplemented with iron at the time of processing. However, some cereal brands contain a higher percentage of iron than other products. Breakfast cereals high in fiber and iron content are listed below:
|Iron Content (mg)
|Ralston Enriched Bran Flakes Cereals
|Kellogg’s Complete Oat Bran Flakes
|Multi-grain Cheerios General Mills Cereals
|Kellogg’s Complete Wheat Flakes
|Kellogg’s Product 19
|Whole Grain Total General Mills Cereals
|Dry Pln Malt-o-Meal Cereals
From the above-mentioned products, the Ralston Enriched Bran Flakes contains the highest iron, providing about 67 mg iron in 100 grams of serving amount. The remaining cereals are also rich in iron content. You can adjust the serving quantity with reference to the daily requirements as too much iron in the body can damage your liver and heart.
Other than cereals high in iron, some of the iron containing food items are green vegetables, dried fruits, fish, eggs, poultry, meat, organ meat, molasses and enriched rice. Getting aware about the iron-rich food will help in proper planning of the daily diet. Thus, you have the option of adding variety of foods rich in iron in your diet, instead of getting bored with the same food items.