Iron is a mineral and used by the human body to support cognitive functions in various ways.
Before we start talking about foods high in iron, you might want to know more about why consuming iron-rich foods are so essential for brain functions.
Here is a limited but extremely important little list about studies on iron and how it supports cognitive functions.
- Iron is of vital importance for the development of red blood cells
- Iron helps building myelin.
Both are essential and of vital importance for memory, concentration and energy.
Myelin is a greasy substance, part of the nervous system. It is essential for the cognitive functions because it greatly improves connecting axons. Normal iron values are vital to develop healthy amounts of myelin.
- Since myelin transmits neuronal signals, this study concludes it is one of the fundamentals for determining levels of intelligence in humans (study).
- Without myelin, signal transmission would be slower, signals would get transmitted to other irrelevant axons (source).
- This study indicates that myelinization benefits in children in particular for the improvement of cognitive functions (study).
In addition, iron contributes to the development of red blood cells as it helps with the transportation of oxygen.
- Thereby, iron improves cognitive functions and it improves the development of stamina (source).
Foods high in iron (from high to low)
18 foods containing high amounts of iron, per 100g.:
- Curry powder (two tsp = 6g) (58.3mg)
- Dried oregano (two tsp = 2g) (44.0mg)
- Fortified breakfast cereals (bran flakes) (24.3mg)
- Fried calf liver (12.2mg)
- Mussels (6.8mg)
- Oats (4.72mg)
- Black strap molasses (4.7mg)
- Dried figs (4.2mg)
- Brazil nuts (2.5mg)
- Cooked red lentils (2.4mg)
- Grilled fillet steak — (2.3mg)
- Soya beans (2.3mg)
- Eggs (1.9mg)
- Kale (1.7mg)
- Canned Red kidney beans (1.5mg)
- Cooked Qunioa (1.5mg)
- Tofu (1.1mg)
- Canned Chick peas (1.0mg)