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Iron Rich Foods

iron rich foods

You must obtain iron from food since it is a necessary nutrient. It aids in the body’s transportation of oxygen.

An adult human’s body has 4 grams (0.005% of body weight) of iron, largely in the form of myoglobin and haemoglobin. Oxygen transport by blood and oxygen storage in muscles are the essential roles played in vertebrate metabolism by these two proteins respectively. Human iron metabolism requires a minimum of iron in the diet to maintain the necessary levels. 

Iron is both potentially toxic and necessary to the body. Controlling iron levels in the body is a critically important part of many aspects of human disease and health. A deficiency can occur if your iron intake is too low to replace the amount you lose daily as it can lead to symptoms like fatigue and cause anaemia. Fortunately, you may satisfy your daily needs for iron by eating a variety of healthy food items.

What Foods are Rich in Iron?

Iron is a mineral that serves various important functions, its main one being to carry oxygen throughout your body as a part of red blood cells. 

For non-pregnant adults, the daily value for iron is 8-18 mg. If your intake is insufficient to make up for the quantity you lose each day, a deficiency may result.

It’s interesting to note that your body’s ability to absorb iron depends in part on how much you have stored. Some foods which are high in iron are  listed below:


  • Spinach has very few calories but provides many health benefits.
  • About 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of raw spinach contain 2.7 mg of iron or 15% of the daily value.
  • Spinach is a good source of vitamin C and non-heme iron, which is less readily absorbed. This is important since vitamin C significantly boosts iron absorption.
  • Spinach is also rich in antioxidants called carotenoids, which might protect your eyes from disease, decrease inflammation and reduce your risk of cancer. 
  • Make sure to consume a healthy fat like olive oil along with your spinach since your body absorbs carotenoids better when you eat spinach and other leafy greens with fat. 

Liver and Other Organ Meats

  • Organ meats are extremely nutritious, including heart, brain, kidneys and liver, all of which are high in iron.
  • Organ meats are rich in selenium, copper and vitamin B and also high in protein. 
  • One 3.5-ounce meal of liver has an astonishing 1,049% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin A.
  • What’s more, organ meats are among the best sources of choline, an important nutrient for liver and brain health that many people don’t get enough of. 

You Can Also Read: High-Fibre Foods You Should Eat


  • Legumes are loaded with nutrients. Some of the most common types of legumes are soybeans, peas, chickpeas, lentils and beans. 
  • Vegetarians or vegans in India, in particular, have legumes as a fantastic source of iron. One cup (198 grams) of cooked lentils contains 6.6 mg, which is 37% of the daily value.
  • Beans like kidney beans, navy beans and black beans can all help easily bump up your iron intake. A half-cup (86-gram) serving of cooked black beans provides around 1.8 milligrams of iron or 10% of the daily value.
  • Legumes are also a good source of potassium, magnesium and folate. 
  • Beans and other legumes can also lessen inflammation in diabetics, according to research. For those who have metabolic syndrome, legumes can reduce their chance of developing heart disease.
  • Additionally, legumes might help you lose weight. They are very high in soluble fibre, which can reduce calorie intake, increase feelings of fullness and promote healthy gut bacteria, which influences weight, inflammation and risk of chronic disease. 
  • To maximise iron absorption, consume legumes with foods high in vitamin C, like citrus fruits, greens or tomatoes. 

Red Meat

  • Red meat is nutritious and satisfying. 
  • Meat is rich in vitamin B, selenium, zinc and protein.
  • Researchers have suggested that iron deficiency might be less likely in people who eat fish, poultry and meat regularly. 
  • Red meat may be the most readily available form of heme iron, making it a crucial diet for those who are prone to anaemia.
  • Research shows females consuming less than 2 ounces of red meat daily were more likely to have inadequate intakes below for vitamin D, potassium, vitamin B12, iron and zinc than females consuming between 2 and 3 ounces daily. 

Pumpkin Seeds

  • Pumpkin seeds are a portable, tasty snack.
  • A 1-ounce (28-gram) serving of pumpkin seeds contains 2.5 mg of iron, which is 14% of the daily value.
  • In addition, pumpkin seeds are a good source of manganese, zinc and vitamin K. They are also among the finest providers of magnesium, a mineral that is frequently lacking in diets.
  • Magnesium, which lowers the risk of depression, diabetes, and insulin resistance, is included in a 1-ounce (28-gram) meal at 40% of the recommended requirement. 


  • Broccoli is incredibly nutritious. Cooked broccoli includes 1 mg of iron per 1 cup (156-gram) serving or 6% of the recommended daily intake.
  • Additionally, broccoli contains 112% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C, which improves your body’s ability to absorb iron.
  • The same serving size provides 5 grams of fibre and is also high in folate, as well as some vitamin K.  Broccoli is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family, which also includes cauliflower and cabbage. 
  • Cruciferous vegetables contain glucosinolates, sulforaphane and indole, which are plant compounds believed to protect against cancer. 

Dark Chocolate

  • Dark chocolate is incredibly nutritious and delicious. 
  • A 1-ounce (28-gram) serving contains 3.4 mg of iron, which is 19% of the daily value. 
  • This small serving also packs 15% and 56% of the daily values for magnesium and copper, respectively.
  • It also has prebiotic fibre, which feeds the beneficial microorganisms in your stomach.
  • Dark chocolate and cocoa powder have significant antioxidant activity similar to that of fruit extracts from cherries and berries. 
  • Studies have also shown that chocolate has beneficial effects on cholesterol and might reduce your risk of strokes and heart attacks. 
  • However, not all chocolate is created equal. The health advantages of chocolate are thought to be caused by substances called flavanols, and dark chocolate has a significantly greater flavanol concentration than milk chocolate. 
  • Therefore, it’s best to consume chocolate with a minimum of 70% cocoa to get the maximum benefits.

You Can Also Read: Potassium Rich Foods


  • Fish is a highly nutritious ingredient and has a considerable amount of iron. 
  • Omega-3 fatty acids, a heart-healthy lipid with a multitude of health advantages, are abundant in fish.
  • In particular, omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to support healthy growth and development, enhance immune function and promote brain health. 
  • Fish also contains several other essential nutrients, including vitamin B12, selenium and niacin.  


Iron plays a crucial role in oxygen transportation in your body.  If you are unable to decide or meet your body’s iron requirements, then it is always advisable to seek medical help from an experienced dietitian. Timely care and help can ensure the inclusion of sufficient iron in your regular diet chart.

At the CK Birla Hospital, we ensure patients get holistic medical support which includes treatment in a compassionate environment. This patient-centric approach not only helps patients heal better but also ensures they are aware of the preventive measures as well. In case you need to consult a dietitian, reach out to us, or book a direct appointment with Dr. Prachi Jain at the CK Birla Hospital.


Do Almonds Have Iron?

Yes, almonds are a good source of iron, offering 5.3 mg per cup whole (66% of the recommended dietary allowance).

Is Milk Rich in Iron?

Iron content in milk and milk substitutes is low. Milk hinders the body’s capacity to absorb iron from meals and supplements. 

Is Apple Rich in Iron?

Apples are known for their high iron content and vitamin C content, both of which are essential for reversing and preventing anaemia. Increasing your iron consumption will help you overcome anaemia, which is a haemoglobin deficit in the blood.

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