Eat Chocolate for Iron

Dark chocolate is high in iron, as it has 12 mg of iron per 100g. A serving provides 19% of the recommended daily intake. On the contrary, milk and white chocolates aren’t good natural sources of iron.

How much iron in dark chocolate?

Dark chocolate with 70-85% cocoa solids is particularly rich in iron. It contains about 12 mg of iron per 100g. This dose is 67% of the Daily Value.[1]

You don’t have to eat a whole chocolate bar, though. Just a small 1 oz serving (28 grams) contains about 3.4 mg of iron, or 19% of the DV!

Actually, eating a small piece of dark chocolate a day is good for you. Chocolate is packed with nutrients and health-promoting antioxidants.[2]

Does milk & white chocolate have iron?

Only dark chocolate with 70-85% cocoa solids, or higher, is rich in iron. For instance, dark chocolate with 60-69% cocoa solids contains only half the amount of iron. Other types of chocolate contain even less iron.

In fact, milk and white chocolates have negligible amounts of iron. They don’t contribute to the daily iron intake.

An 1-oz serving of milk chocolate contains about 0.05 mg of iron. This dose is only 0.25% of the DV.

White chocolate also contains negligible amounts of iron. A serving has 0.07 mg of iron, or less than 0.4% of the DV.

Can dark chocolate raise iron levels?

Although dark chocolate is one of the best natural sources of iron, it can’t substantially increase serum iron levels. Dark chocolate contains compounds, known as oxalates, which bind to iron, inhibiting its absorption. Hence, dark chocolate is considered a great dietary source of moderately bioavailable iron.[3,4]

The richest food in oxalates is spinach, containing 1,236 mg per 100g. Chocolate is considered to have moderate amounts of oxalates.[5]

People with a history of kidney stones should avoid consuming foods high in oxalates regularly.

What’s the best time of the day to eat dark chocolate?

The best time to eat dark chocolate as a healthy snack is in the afternoon, a couple of hours after a meal. A small serving of chocolate could satisfy your sweet tooth and decrease cravings for fattening foods. 

In fact, consuming a small serving of dark chocolate a day, as part of a well-balanced diet, could help you lose weight. Dark chocolate is high in fiber as well as many minerals, like iron and potassium, which are involved in energy metabolism. Moreover, dark chocolate has less sugar than milk chocolate.

How much iron do we need a day?

Women need to get at least of 18 mg of iron a day, while men and women older than 51 years need only 8 mg of iron. Moreover, pregnant women require 27 mg of iron a day!

As women need high doses of iron, it may be tricky to get the recommended daily intake from food. In many cases, women may benefit from taking iron supplements.

You can find a wide variety of iron supplements at best prices on iHerb.

Certainly, you should consult your healthcare provider before taking any supplement. In fact, getting too much iron for a long time may cause adverse effects.

Health benefits of iron

Iron is an essential trace element. It’s necessary for good health. First, it’s a key component of hemoglobin. This protein of red blood cells transfers oxygen from the lungs to the tissues.

Furthermore, iron supports muscle metabolism and healthy connective tissue. Also, iron is crucial for energy metabolism, cellular functioning, physical growth, neurological development, and synthesis of some hormones, amino acids, and collagen.[6,7]

However, iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency worldwide! In fact, iron deficiency may cause side effects like gastrointestinal disturbances, impaired cognition, weakened immune function, fatigue, and low body temperature. Moreover, iron deficiency during pregnancy increases the risk of premature delivery, and miscarriage.[8]

Other foods high in iron

Foods high in iron are meat, poultry, fish, eggs, whole grains (e.g. oatmeal), beans, potatoes, and some fruits and vegetables (e.g. kale).

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