Organic beef and lamb are rich in iron, a mineral our body needs to carry and store oxygen through our bodies.
Iron deficiency is a common health problem around the world, but fortunately there are some steps you can take to ensure your body is getting the maximum amount of iron possible from organic meat.
What are the different types of iron and why do we need it?
Iron is used by the body to make hemoglobin, a part of your red blood cells. This carries oxygen around your body.
When you don’t have enough iron, your body stops producing as many red blood cells, which means you may not be getting enough oxygen.
People with iron deficiency are often tired and may feel weak. The immune system can also be compromised and iron deficient people may even have trouble maintaining a constant body temperature.
There are two types of iron – heme and non-heme. The former is found in meat protein that contains hemoglobin while non-heme iron is found in plant food such as vegetables, grains, lentils and beans.
What you can do to keep your iron stores up
The body cannot absorb non-heme iron unless you also consume enough vitamin C. Non-heme iron is harder for the body to absorb than its heme cousin.
However, heme iron absorption can also help you ingest non-heme iron, so eating organic red meat may help you get more from that plate of spinach. Add a glass of orange juice and you’ll hit the trifecta.
What to avoid
You might want to rethink that after-dinner cuppa. Tannins found in tea can prevent your body from soaking up the iron benefits of a juicy steak.
Tannic acid, a polyphenol found in tea, binds with iron and prevent it from being absorbed properly.
Black tea has the highest concentration of tannins, but peppermint and chamomile tea can also inhibit the absorption of iron.
Therefore, it is best to avoid drinking tea with meals if you are prone to iron deficiency. Instead enjoy the hot beverage between meals to give your body time to absorb the iron.