Benefit of Routine Foods
Consuming a diet rich in variety has great benefit in terms of striving to consume a variety of nutrients. There is also something to be said for routine in consuming a handful of high-quality staple foods. Consider a small study recently published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. The study evaluated 11 female runners who consumed sufficient daily calories, yet reported an inadequate daily iron intake. Over one-third of the participants had an overall compromised iron status.
Researchers performed a 6 week dietary intervention. The intervention was simple. The girls were to swap out their standard bread with teff bread. The teff bread developed by the research team contained 5.6 mg iron per 100 grams. The girls did not have to change any other aspect of their diet.
After dietary intervention researchers discovered that the teff bread contributed to 45% of the recommended daily value for dietary iron throughout the intervention period. Runners who increased iron intake the most had the greatest increase in iron tissue supply. The females with a compromised pre-intervention iron status had the greatest improvement in overall iron status. While the study overall showed only a modest improvement in iron status for the 6-week trial, it does bring to attention the benefits of incorporating routine high-quality food sources as a means to supply required nutrients in meeting overall nutrition needs.