Concussion Treatment Consider Iron

Written By: Bastyr University

Iron is important for oxygen transport to the body and brain. Oxygen is important for aerobic energy systems in brain. Aerobic energy versus anaerobic energy systems are important for minimizing by products of energy production that damage a neuron. A pro-active concussion plan involves ensuring adequate iron levels.

The following is a handout from Bastyr University and is distributed with their permission.

FOOD SOURCES OF IRON

produceFoods and Supplements That Affect Iron Absorption

There are two main types of iron, “heme” iron and non-heme iron. Heme, the more absorbable form of iron, is found in oysters, meat, poultry and fish. Non-heme iron is also found in these animals’ foods, as well as in dried fruit, molasses, leafy green vegetables and wine. Meat, fish and poultry contain a factor called MFP that helps with the absorption of non-heme iron from foods consumed in the same meal. Chili is an example of a food that contains iron from heme food sources (meat) and non-heme sources (beans). Eating the meat with the beans promotes the absorption of the iron from the beans. Acidic foods (such as tomato sauce) cooked in an iron pan can also be a source of dietary iron.

 

Coffee, tea, high-fiber foods and calcium supplements reduce iron absorption. Phytate that is found in soy, flat breads like pita, matzohs and some rye crackers, significantly reduces iron absorption. Vitamin C is a powerful promoter of iron absorption from non-heme sources: it can actually triple the absorption of non-heme iron.  Good food sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, orange juice, tomatoes and tomato products, peppers, spinach, potatoes with skin, mustard greens, kohlrabi, brussel sprouts, cabbage, apricots, honeydew melon, kiwi, mango, papaya, plums and watermelon. Taking vitamin A with iron helps treat iron deficiency since vitamin A improves the absorption and/or utilization of iron.

 

RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance including dietary sources)        

Pre-menopausal women: 15 milligrams/day

Men and post-menopausal women:  10 mg/day

 

ODA (Optimum Daily Allowance including dietary sources)

Men: 15-25 mg

Women: 20-30 mg

Post-menopausal women: 15-20 mg

Iron Deficiency Anemia:  20-30 mg

 

IRON CONTENT OF FOODS

GROUP A (heme sources)

 

Food Source

Serving Size (oz.)

Iron (milligrams)

beef, liver

3.0

7.5

beef, corned

3.0

2.5

beef, lean ground; 10% fat

3.0

3.9

*beef, round

3.0

4.6

*beef, chuck

30

3.2

*beef, flank

3.0

4.3

chicken, breast w/out bone

3.0

0.9

chicken, leg w/bone

2.0

0.7

chicken, liver

3.0

7.3

chicken, thigh w/bone

2.3

1.2

cod, broiled

3.0

0.8

flounder, baked

3.0

1.2

*pork, lean ham

3.0

1.9

*pork, loin chop

3.0

3.5

salmon, pink canned

3.0

0.7

shrimp, 10 – 2 1/2 inch

1.1

0.5

tuna, canned with water

3.5

1.0

turkey, dark meat

3.0

2.0

turkey, white meat

3.0

1.2

*Lean, trimmed of separable fat

 

GROUP B (non-heme sources)

 

Food Source

Serving Size

Iron (milligrams)

almonds, raw

10-12 each

0.7

apricots, dried, medium size

10 each

1.7

bagel

1 whole

1.5

baked beans, canned

1/2 cup

2.0

bread, white

2 slices

1.4

bread, whole wheat

2 slices

1.7

broccoli, cooked

1/2 cup

0.6

broccoli, raw

1 stalk

1.1

dates

10 each

1.6

kidney beans

1/2 cup

3.0

lima beans

1/2 cup

18

macaroni, enriched, cooked

1 cup

1.9

molasses, blackstrap

1 TBSP

2.3

peas, frozen and prepared

1/2 cup

1.3

prune juice

1/2 cup

1.5

raisins, not packed

1/4 cup

1.0

rice, brown, cooked

1 cup

1.0

rice, white enriched, cooked

1 cup

1.8

spaghetti, enriched, cooked

1 cup

1.6

spinach, cooked

1/2 cup

2.0

 

Resources

  1. Marz ND, Russel. Medical Nutrition from Marz. Portland, OR: Omni Press, 1999.
  2. Mahan, Kathleen. Food, Nutrition & Diet Therapy. Philadelphia: Saunders, 1996.
Be Sociable, Share!