Boost Iron and Build a Better Burger

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Pumping iron into your diet is as critical to your performance as pumping iron in the weight room. This athlete-essential mineral carries oxygen from the lungs to the cells and muscles, and an iron deficiency translates into fatigue, poor performance and a weakened immune system.

The National Institutes of Health advises that teen males need approximately 11mg of iron daily; teen females need 15mg. Get your daily dose by eating foods high in iron, among them: shellfish, dark leafy greens, beans and red meat. Refer to the list below for specific amounts:

Clams 3 oz  = 11.9 mg
Mussels 3 oz = 5.7 mg
Oysters 6 medium = 12 mg
Spinach 1C cooked = 6.43 mg
2C raw = 1.6 mg
Kale 2C raw = 2.28 mg
Kidney beans 1C = 5 mg
Black beans 1C = 3.6 mg
Red meat 3.5 oz = 2.6 mg
Sun-dried tomatoes 1C = 4.9 mg
Dried apricots 1C = 7.5
Tofu ½C =  3.4 mg
Oatmeal 1C fortified = 10 mg

According to livestrong.com, red meat is the best source of dietary iron. It's also a traditional Fourth of July staple, so fire up the grill and flip out with this Power Burger Recipe from menshealth.com:

Ingredients
1 egg
1 lb. lean ground beef
1C oats
1C diced onion
1C chopped spinach
2 Tbsp. reduced-fat shredded Mexican-blend cheese
4 whole-grain buns
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions
In a large bowl, whisk the egg. Add everything else and mix—your hands are the best tools. Form the meat into four patties. Place burgers on grill and cook six minutes per side or to the desired level of doneness.

Sources:  nutrition.gov, livestrong.com, menshealth.com, nih.gov


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