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Foods High in Iron

By Rajib Singha Last Updated: 7/3/2012

Anemia that results from iron deficiency is treated with the help of iron supplements, and a diet that includes foods high in iron. This article gives you list of such foods.

Iron deficiency anemia is the most common type of anemia. The main treatment for this condition includes taking iron supplements to boost the iron levels in the body. If a patient’s diet lacks in iron and if this is contributing to his/her condition, then the patient would also be recommended to include high iron foods in his/her daily diet.

Food Loaded with Iron

• Apricot • Asparagus • Baked potato • Barley • Beef • Beef liver • Beet greens • Beet root • Bok choy •  Broccoli • Cantaloupe • Carrots • Cashews • Chicken liver • Clams • Cooked beans • Non-GMO Corn • Dates • Eggs • Enriched pasta • Figs • Grapefruit • Green beans • Green peas • Kale • Mussels • Oatmeal • Orange • Orange juice • Oysters • Peas • Peanut butter • Pork liver • Prune juice • Pumpkin • Pumpkin seeds • Raisins • Sardines • Sea vegetables • Shrimp • Non-GMO Soy Beans • Spinach • Sprouts • Strawberries • Sweet potatoes • Swiss chard • Tofu • Tomato • Tomato juice • Tuna • Turkey • Turnip greens • Watermelon • Whole-grain bread


The chart mentioned below provides information about various foods rich in iron. You may notice that some of the foods are not as high in iron as others, but they can be used to supplement your diet and create an interesting variety in your meals, to increase your iron intake.

Important Note: Before you resort to the intake of any of the foods in this list have your iron levels checked, and increase your iron intake only after consultation with your doctor or a qualified nutritionist. This table by no means is a replacement for professional advice and individual requirements of iron.

Top 10 Meat n Seafood IronMeat Sources:
Food Amount Iron Content (mg)
Liver (Chicken/Beef) 100 g 8.8
Beef (Cooked) 100 g 5.5
Turkey Meat (Cooked) 100 g 4.8
Tuna Fish (in Oil) 100 g 1.2
Chicken (Cooked) 100 g 0.8
Sardines 100 g 4.0
Oysters (Cooked) 100 g 8.5
Egg 1 1.0

Vegetable Sources:
Spinach 1 cup 4.0
Peas (Cooked) 1 cup 3.0
Collard Greens/Kale/Beet/Turnip Greens 1/2 cup 2.0
Potato 1 Large 1.4
Green Beans (Cooked) 1 cup 1.2
Broccoli (Lightly Boiled) 100 g 1.0
Bok Choy (Cooked) 1/2 cup 0.7

Fruit (Fresh/Dried) Sources:
Strawberries 1 cup 1.5
Watermelon 6″ x 1/2″ slice 3.0
Banana 1 cup 1.0
Raisins 1 cup 5.1
Prunes 1 cup 3.8
Dried Apricots 1 cup 7.2
Dried Peaches 1 cup 9.6
Dried Dates 4 1.7

Bread (Whole Wheat) 1 slice 0.5
Cereal (Dry) 3/4 cup As on Label
Cereal (Cooked) 1/2 cup 0.7
Tortillas 1 1.0
Wheat Germ 1/2 cup 4.0
Bran Muffin 1 1.5
Oatmeal 100 g As on Label

Beans and Legumes:
Soy Beans (N0n-GMO Cooked) 1/2 cup 4.4
Red/Kidney/Pinto Beans (Cooked) 1 cup 5.0
Black-Eyed Peas (Cooked) 1 cup 4.0
Garbanzo Beans 1/4 cup 2.4
Lentils (Cooked) 1 cup 3.0

Other Sources:
Pumpkin Seeds 1 oz. 3.2
Nuts 1/3 cup 0.5 – 2.0
Tofu 4 oz. 2.3
Semolina (Cooked) 1/2 cup 5.5
Blackstrap Molasses 1 tbsp 5.0

You may also take a look at this list of iron-rich food for vegans. An important tip to keep in mind, is to consume a good amount of vitamin C rich foods, while adhering to an iron-rich diet. This will help increase the absorption of iron by the body, thereby effectively increasing the levels in those who are deficient in this mineral. Hopefully, the aforementioned chart has helped you determine the type of foods you can consume to bring back your iron levels to the necessary amount. Eat well and live a healthy lifestyle.

Some Quick Facts on Iron ~ 

» Iron is required by the body for the production of hemoglobin, and certain important enzymes. It is also required for various proteins and enzymes which are a must for the maintenance of overall health.

» Iron is responsible for the transportation of oxygen in the blood to all parts of the body and for immune activity. To add to this, there are several kinds of metabolic reactions which depend on the availability of iron in the body, and so are regulation of cell growth and differentiation.

» For the liver to function optimally, it must have adequate stocks of iron in it.

» Free radicals can give the body a difficult time if not managed. Iron does that for the body.

Symptoms of Iron Deficiency Anemia ~ 

Fatigue is the classic symptom of anemia. When it is accompanied by pale skin, shortness of breath and chest pain, it is most likely that the condition is iron deficiency anemia. Other symptoms include:

  • Irregular or rapid heartbeat
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Cognitive problems
  • Abnormal irritability
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Tongue soreness
  • Itchiness
  • Hair loss
  • Poor appetite
  • Tingling sensation

If there is any underlying cause of the condition, then there might be more symptoms. For instance, if cancer is an underlying cause, then weight loss may accompany the above symptoms.

Complications ~ 

Anemia that is caused by lack of iron in the body does not cause any long-term complication when it is mild and receives timely treatment. However, if the condition is left untreated then it may become worse and lead to severe repercussions.

» People with untreated iron deficiency anemia are more susceptible to contract infections because of their weak immune system.

» As the condition deprives the body tissues of oxygen, the heart works faster to pump more blood to compensate for the lack of oxygen. Overtime, this may cause heart enlargement or heart failure. Tachycardia is also a common complication that may arise in severely anemic people.

» Severe anemia may result in premature birth, low birth weight, and low cognitive ability in babies. The same may also cause pregnant women to develop postnatal depression.

» Anemic children may suffer from delayed growth and development.

» Iron deficiency anemia has also been associated with the condition called restless leg syndrome in some people.

To conclude, people who are considered susceptible to develop iron deficiency anemia include women, vegetarians, and those who donate their blood frequently. Premature babies are also highly vulnerable to suffer from this condition, and so are children whose diet lack sufficient amount of iron and other nutrients.

source: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/foods-high-in-iron-for-anemia.html


Foods to Figt AnemiaBelow is a list of 6 natural food items that help with keeping your blood strong, and to help fight and/or prevent against anemia:

  • Kale

Chlorophyll is molecularly identical to our red blood cells, with the exception of the central molecule, magnesium in chlorophyll, and iron in blood. Once it enters the body, chlorophyll, in a way, starts to act like haemoglobin (the proponent of blood that is responsible for transporting oxygen from the lungs to the cells of our body). This means increased nutrient delivery and oxygenation to our cells.

Kale is incredibly rich in chlorophyll (making it a great blood builder), and many other vitamins and minerals like Vitamins K, A, C, and E as well as manganese, calcium, iron and copper. The iron in kale is also essential for healthy blood, keeping us alert and clear-headed.

Adding some kale into your green juices, or making a nice leafy green kale salad (see http://rawedibles.blogspot.ca for kale recipes) is a great way to get kale into your diet.

  • Figs

Figs are a very mineral dense fruit. They have incredibly high iron content which makes them a great blood builder and useful in cases of anemia. Research also indicates that figs have the ability to shrink cancerous tumours, and contain more calcium than milk, and more potassium than bananas. Potassium is a mineral that helps control blood pressure, keeping our circulatory system strong and healthy.

  • Stinging Nettles

Drinking one cup of nettle tea a day can have significant effects on your blood! It is one of the best blood purifiers available, and can thus clean eczema internally and help fight against anemia. It has a tremendous influence on the pancreas and help assists in lowering high blood pressure and blood glucose levels. Stinging nettles not only help the blood, but they protect against hair loss, kidney stones, allergies, hay fever, osteoarthritis, internal bleeding, uterine bleeding, nosebleeds and bowel bleeding. They protect against enlarged spleens, diabetes, endocrine disorders, stomach acid, diarrhea, dysentery, lung congestion, cancer and anti-aging.

The best way to consume nettles is early in the morning before breakfast. Drink the tea every day for one month, twice a year, to help purify and cleanse the blood.

  • Beets

Beet juice is a blood purifier and blood builder and helps in the creation of red blood cells. Beet juice improves blood structure and cures diseases of the circulatory system, large intestine and digestive system, states longevity researcher, Mikhail Tombak, Ph.D.. Beets are very powerful cleansers of the liver and kidney, which help cleanse the circulatory system. Drinking fresh beet juice may help reverse your problems with anemia or other blood issues such as high cholesterol.

  • Parsley

Parsley is well known for it’s remarkable blood-cleansing benefits which classify it as a superfood. It is incredibly rich in chlorophyll (see above) and vitamin C which is a major anti-inflammatory and helps the body absorb iron. Parsley is also an excellent source of folic acid which is crucial for reducing homocysteine levels. Homocysteine mediates inflammation and is linked with cardiovascular disease and brain degeneration. Not only that, but parsley is a powerful diuretic that lowers blood pressure and improves kidney function.

  • Spinach

Anemia occurs when there isn’t enough hemoglobin (an iron-protein compound in red blood cells that transports oxygen) in the blood and there are too few red blood cells. Thus, increasing your iron levels is an important thing to do when you have anemia or other blood related problems. Spinach is rich in iron and vitamin C, and the two together help improve iron uptake (vitamin C helps the body absorb more iron from the foods you eat). Spinach is also a wonderful chlorophyll source, which is a great blood builder (see above). Enjoy spinach in your smoothies or in your salads!


Related Links:

For more info. on foods high in iron, visit.. World’s Healthiest Foods ~ Iron