Health | December 1st 2016

Paleo Edition: Iron and Fiber Rich Foods


So you’ve gone paleo, and you’re excited about it. As awesome as paleo is in theory, we know how difficult it can be to maintain. Thats why we’ve compiled the following tidbits of info for you to help you get the essential nutrients you need — namely, iron and fiber. These are noted as some of the largest nutrient deficiencies in paleo diets. After all, how will paleo dieters get enough fiber if there are no grains allowed? HBFIT is here to help.

Fiber and Iron – What is it?

Fiber is an indigestible type of carbohydrate that can be broken down in three main sources including soluble, insoluble, and resistant starches. While these sources are equally just as good as the other, some foods may contain two or more of these fiber sources.

Iron, on the other hand, is responsible for transporting oxygen around your body, from the lungs to the organs. It helps to produce new blood cells within the body to rid your organs of carbon dioxide. Iron is also extremely important for converting blood sugar to energy and for the production of enzymes within the digestive system. It helps your body to recover after illnesses or exercise as it plays a vital function in the immune system.

Paleo and Fiber

Soluble fibers help to lower bad cholesterol and regulate blood sugar, thus keeping you feeling full for longer. Traditional non-paleo sources of soluble fibre are oatmeal and lentils. Paleo alternatives include: strawberries, nuts, seeds, carrots, blueberries, unpeeled apples, sweet potatoes, and most other root vegetables.

Insoluble fibers, on the other hand, have a laxative-like effect. Traditional sources include wheat, legumes, and corn bran. Paleo alternatives include: cabbage, beets, carrots, and Brussels sprouts.

Paleo and Iron

Having a proper intake of iron on a paleo-diet is probably much easier than keeping track of fiber intake. Most red meats are a great source of iron, with liver being the best. Just 3.55 ounces (100 grams, or 1/2 cup) of liver provides you with over 100 percent of your recommended daily amount of iron. If you’re not a meat-eater, dark leafy vegetables also contain a lot of iron. For example, 1/2 cup of spinach provides you with 20 percent of your daily nutrition value. Iron-rich foods include: swiss chard, turnip greens, kale, dark chocolate, nuts, pumpkin seeds.