Walnuts are rich in iron. A serving of provides almost 5% of the DV. There are other nuts with a higher iron content, though. But, as iron in walnuts and other nuts isn’t highly bioavailable, we have to eat a wide variety of iron-rich foods.
Are walnuts rich in iron?
Walnuts contain decent amounts of iron. They contain approximately 2.9 mg of iron per 100g. A handful (7 whole walnuts) provides 0.83 mg of iron. This amount is 4.6% of the Daily Value (DV).
What’s the iron content of walnut flour, butter & oil?
Walnut flour is also a good dietary source of iron. It contains approximately 2.7 mg of iron per 100g. A serving (3 tbsp, or 15g) provides 0.4 mg of iron, or 2% of the DV.
Moreover, a serving (2 tbsp) of walnut butter provides 1 mg of iron, or 5.5% of the DV.
On the contrary, walnut oil has no iron.
Can walnuts help us meet our daily iron needs?
Walnuts can help us meet our daily needs of iron. A serving provides almost 5% of the DV. We shouldn’t consume higher amounts, though. As walnuts are particularly high in calories, they can make us gain weight.
The best time to eat a handful of walnuts for weight loss is between meals. Walnuts control glycemic response.
Do walnuts have more iron than other common nuts?
Actually, all nuts are great dietary sources of iron. Walnuts have a medium iron content as compared to other favorite nuts.
Walnuts vs almonds
For instance, almonds are richer in iron than walnuts. They have about 28% more iron! Hazelnuts and pistachios are other popular nuts, containing slightly more iron than walnuts.
On the contrary, peanuts, pecans, Brazil nuts, and chestnuts contain slightly less iron than walnuts.
What’s the richest nut in iron?
The richest nuts in iron are cashews. They contain 6 mg of iron per 100g. A serving provides 9% of the DV!
Do we absorb the iron of walnuts?
We absorb only a small percentage of iron of walnuts. Actually, most plant-based foods have a low bioavailability of iron. Plants contain compounds, like phytates and polyphenols, which inhibit iron absorption. The bioavailability of iron from vegetarian diets is between 5% and 12%.[2,3]
On the contrary, the bioavailability of iron from mixed diets is up to 18%. Thus, vegans, vegetarians, or people who follow a plant-based diet should consume 1.8 times more iron than people who eat meat and other animal-derived foods.
How to increase the absorption of iron of walnuts?
First, you can increase the absorption of iron of walnuts with vitamin C. Vitamin C can increase nonheme iron absorption up to 270%. There is no need to take vitamin C supplements. There are many foods high in vitamin C
Furthermore, honey could increase iron levels by 20%.
Moreover, you can soak iron-rich seeds, nuts, and grains, such as almonds, pumpkin seeds, and quinoa, to increase iron solubility. The germination process eliminates the phytate content of these foods.
What foods inhibit the absorption of iron in walnuts?
On the other hand, high amounts of calcium may inhibit iron absorption. Therefore, better avoid consuming too much milk and dairy with walnuts, other iron-rich foods, or iron supplements.
Furthermore, you should avoid drinking too much coffee, tea, or red wine when consuming foods high in iron. These beverages contain high amounts of polyphenols, which bind to iron in the intestine, inhibiting its absorption.
Other foods high in iron
Common foods high in iron are meat, poultry, fish, eggs, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, beans, potatoes, chocolate, and certain vegetables and fruits (e.g. avocado).
Actually, the regular consumption of beans is an easy way to significantly increase your iron intake. For instance, a serving of green peas, soy, lentils, and chickpeas provides between 25 and 50% of the DV! It’s important to soak and thoroughly rinse beans to increase iron absorption.
Dried fruits, such as goji berries, dates, raisins, and prunes are great dietary sources of iron as well.
Furthermore, you could consume fortified foods to boost your daily iron intake. Iron in fortified foods is highly bioavailable. In fact, many cereals are enriched with iron.
What’s the recommended daily intake?
Adult men and women older than 51 years require only 8 mg of iron a day.
But, the recommended daily intake of iron is 18 mg for women of reproductive age, and 27 mg for pregnant women. As women require high dosages of iron, they may have a hard time to meet their daily needs from food. They may benefit from taking an iron supplement. You’ll find a wide variety of iron supplements on iHerb.
Always consult your physician before taking any supplement or changing your diet.
Health benefits of iron
Iron is a key component of hemoglobin. This protein of red blood cells transfers oxygen from the lungs to the tissues. In addition, iron is involved in energy metabolism, cellular functioning, physical growth, neurological development, and the synthesis of some hormones, amino acids, and collagen.
But, iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency worldwide. It may lead to serious adverse effects, such as gastrointestinal disturbances, impaired cognition, weakened immune function, fatigue, low body temperature, premature delivery, and miscarriage.
Health benefits of walnuts
Walnut consumption is beneficial for human health. They have a great nutritional value. They’re packed with fiber, protein, minerals (e.g. iron, potassium, magnesium), and antioxidants. Fiber and protein in walnuts regulate appetite.
In addition, walnuts have beneficial effects on cognition and brain health. They protect against oxidative stress and inflammation in these diseases.
Moreover, walnuts may help sleep better at night, promote hair growth, lower high cholesterol levels, and protect the heart.