Foods High In Iron

Iron is an essential mineral that needs for our body’s several functions. It makes Haemoglobin in red blood cells and carries oxygen from the lungs throughout our full body. In this article, we will know about Foods High in Iron.

If your body has not the proper amount of iron, then it can cause anaemia. Anaemia makes you feel fatigued and weak. Even so much deficiency of iron can lead to organ failure. So, how do you get iron for your body?

Luckily you can take iron from different foods. That will replace the amount of iron you lose every day and save you from the deficiency. The daily value (DV) of iron is 18 mg for your body. But this is not the same for everyone.

Children 1-3 years 9 mg
4-8 years 10 mg
Boys 9-13 years 8 mg
14-18 years 11mg
Girls 9-13 years 8 mg
14-18 years 15 mg
Men Adult 8 mg
Women 19-15 years 18 mg
51+ years 8 mg
Pregnant 27 mg
Breastfeeding 9-10 mg


Menstruation women need more iron to replace the amount of blood they lose.

Iron Deficiency Anemia

If your body can’t get enough iron, you may suffer from iron deficiency anaemia. Therefore, it can’t produce the red blood cell’s substance. As a result, the red blood cells will fail to carry enough oxygen for your body. And you may feel tired and short of breath, which is the sign of anaemia.


At first, the symptoms of anaemia will be so mild. That you might not even notice. But at a time it will worsen when you become more deficient of iron. The symptoms and signs of anaemia include:

  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Weakness
  • Inflammation
  • Brittle nails
  • Breathe shortness
  • Poor appetite in children and infants
  • Pale skin
  • Chest pain

Causes of anaemia include:

Haemoglobin is an important part of red blood cells. It gives the blood-red colour and helps the red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body. But if your body has not enough iron, it can’t produce haemoglobin, which will cause iron deficiency anaemia.

Blood loss: Red blood cells contain iron. So when you lose blood, you also lose a little amount of iron. Especially, women are in the high-risk of anaemia because of menstruation. So if they do not take iron food daily, they may suffer from anaemia.

Lack of iron in your regular diet: Your body will get iron when you take high iron foods. So you have to eat iron-rich foods regularly. But if you are getting little iron overtime from your diet, your body will become iron deficient. So you have to take fish, meat leafy green vegetables so that your body gets enough iron daily.

Iron absorption inability: In your small intestine, the bloodstream absorb iron from food. But an intestinal disorder can affect your intestine’s ability, which might be unable to absorb nutrients from digested food. Even if your intestine removes surgically, then it may affect your intestine ability to absorb iron from food. If your body can’t get iron, then it may lead you to anaemia.

Exercise: People who are athletes or do lots of exercises they need a lot of iron for their body. Because regular exercise increases the need for iron. When you sweat for doing exercise, you lose iron through

sweating. And hard doing exercise promotes the production of red blood cells which requires iron. So if you do hard training and don’t get enough iron, it will cause iron deficiency anaemia.

How to prevent iron deficiency anaemia

To prevent anaemia you can take iron tablets. It will restore the iron level in your body. You can take it in empty stomach, which will be good for your body. Because at that time, your body can absorb the iron better. But if you see your stomach upset to take the iron supplements, then you can take it with your meal. You have to take it for several months. Your stool may black for the iron supplements. But taking supplements is better than eat iron-rich food. If you add fish, meat, nuts leafy green vegetables in your diet, your body will not be iron deficient.

Besides, if you add vitamin C with your iron meal, it will boost to absorb the iron in your body. For example, you can add lemon juice with spinach. Spinach is rich in iron and many other nutrients.

Types of iron in food

There are two types of iron that you will find in food—heme and non-heme. Heme iron is found in poultry, seafood, and meat. On the other hand, plant foods and eggs have non-heme iron. For the human body, heme iron is more effective than non-heme iron.

Foods that contain iron

There are plenty of foods from those you can intake iron for your body. We have listed the top 10 healthy foods that are high in iron.

Foods high in iron

1. Organ meat 6. Spinach
2. Shellfish 7. Tofu
3. Fish 8. Legumes
4. Turkey 9. Dark Chocolate
5. Red Meat 10. Broccoli


1. Organ Meat

Meats are very nutritious and also very high in iron. Organ meats include the brain, kidneys, heart, and liver. It is a heme iron that your body can easily absorb.

A 100-gram beef liver contains 5.5 mg of iron or 30% DV, and 200 calories beef liver contains 4.1 mg or 23% DV. It is not only high in iron but also high in vitamin A.

Other organ meats are rich in vitamin B, selenium, protein, and copper. They are the best sources of choline.

2. Shellfish

Shellfish is another healthy food that is also very high in iron. This testy and nutrient food can increase HDL cholesterol in the blood.

You can get 9.2 mg or 51% of DV and 11.3 mg or 63% of DV iron from 100-gram and 200 calories of the oyster.

A 100 gram of shellfish daily provides 26 grams of protein, 24% of vitamin C, and 4125% of vitamin B12.

3. Fish

All fishes are very nutritious, but some particular fish, such as tuna, haddock, mackerel, and sardines, are very rich in iron.

Fish is also overwhelmed with omega-3 fatty acids, which promote brain health. On the other hand, it supports healthy growth and increases immune function. Besides, it includes selenium, niacin, and vitamin B12.

An 85-gram of canned tuna fish contains 1.4 mg or 8% of DV iron. And you are also getting vitamin B, D, plenty of potassium, and sodium from it.

4. Turkey

Turkey meat is delicious and very healthy food high in iron. It is rich in protein that increases your metabolic rate and prevents weight loss. During your weight loss, you also lose your muscle. But when you take high protein food, it will aid in both muscle loss and weight loss.

100-gram turkey meat contains 1.4 mg or 8% of DV of iron, 28-gram of protein, vitamin B, several minerals, zinc, and selenium.

Dark turkey is better than white turkey. Because you are getting 0.7 mg iron from 100-gram white turkey, where a dark turkey serves 1.4 mg iron.

5. Red Meat

Red meat is very rich in iron, protein, selenium, zinc, and vitamin B. Researchers say that when people take meat, fish, and poultry daily, they don’t have an iron deficiency.

A 100-gram of beef has 2.7 mg of iron or 15% of DV.

6. Spinach

Spinach has many health benefits, such as reduce the risk of cancer, inflammation, and eye disease. It does not absorb very well as it is non-heme iron. But it is high in vitamin C, which boots iron absorption.

A 100-gram of raw spinach has 2.7 mg iron, which is 15% of DV. On the other hand, one cup of cooked spinach has 4 mg to 6 mg iron.

It is also rich in antioxidants, which are called carotenoids. Leafy green like spinach helps you to absorb carotenoids. So, while you eat, make sure you add olive oil with your spinach.

7. Tofu

This healthy food is popular in Asian countries. Even vegetarians also love this food. It has several minerals such as magnesium, calcium, selenium as well as a good source of thiamine and protein.

Tofu can improve your insulin sensitivity as it contains a unique compound, isoflavones. It also helps to reduce heart disease risk.

A half-cup or 126-gram tofu contains 3.4 mg iron. Since vegetarians can’t eat meat, tofu is a perfectly healthy food high in iron that helps them get enough iron for their body.

8. Legumes

If you are a vegetarian, then legumes are the best food source that is high in iron. It is load with a lot of nutrients such as folate, magnesium, and potassium.

Legume is rich with a lot of health benefits. It decreases your heart disease risk and inflammation. Besides, you can lose weight and reduce calories with legumes. Since it has soluble fibre, you will feel fullness. Research says that a high fibre diet containing beans is more effective than a low carb diet.

Soybeans, peas, lentils, and chickpeas are the most common legumes. One cup of cooked lentils (198 gram) has 6.6 mg of iron. It is also rich in vitamins, magnesium, zinc, vitamin B, and protein.

One-half cup of cooked chickpeas contains 2 mg iron. Additionally, it is also rich with folate, fibre, several minerals, and fewer calories.

9. Dark Chocolate

Everyone loves chocolate, and this food is very nutritious as well as high in iron. It is an excellent source of antioxidants. Besides, you will get 3.4 mg of iron from 1-ounce or 28-gram of chocolate. It also contains magnesium, copper, and fibre.

A study found that chocolate reduces the risk of strokes and heart attacks. It is also effective for cholesterol. But it also contains calories, so you can’t do overeating.

10. Broccoli

You have already learned that non-heme iron food absorption is not as good as heme iron food. But broccoli contains vitamin C, which helps the body to absorb the iron better. Broccoli includes cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and kale. It is also rich in fibre, folate, and vitamin K.

Cruciferous vegetable reduces the risk of cancer as it contains sulforaphane, indole, and glycosylates. You can get 1 mg of iron from one-cup cooked broccoli.

Foods High in Iron for pregnant women

Pregnant women need more iron for them and their baby. The iron drive oxygen to the whole body. And for a pregnant woman, they need more iron to grow reproductive organs of the baby. A pregnant woman needs daily 27 mg iron. So during pregnancy, women should eat red meat, fish, poultry and other iron-fortified breakfast. Heme iron is easily absorbed in the body. So it will be better if you take meat and fish. To boost the absorption, you can take food and drinks rich in vitamin C. Orange juice, tomato juice, and strawberry juice is rich in vitamin C.

Foods High in Iron for infants and children

First six months, babies store enough iron for their body. But after six months they need to increase it. Since cow’s milk is a source of iron, some mothers feed it to their babies. But when the baby drinks too much milk, they may develop milk anaemia. Therefore, paediatrics recommends not to give cow’s milk until the baby is more than one year.

Foods High in Iron for teenage girls

Teenage girls need more iron for their body. During their menstruation, they need to take more iron-rich food. They should take meat, green vegetables, nuts, and fishes as they lose blood. Iron-rich food can make blood and iron in their body and prevent iron deficient.

Here is our list end. Add foods in your daily routine that are high in iron. Because iron deficiency can lead to anaemia.

By NMK Pro