Best 12 Healthiest Food With Iron

Food With Iron

Food With Iron

Updated on 4/22/2024
Natalia MarinBy Natalia Marin
Natalia Marin
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The most significant role that iron plays in the body is that of a component of red blood cells, which are responsible for transporting oxygen to various body regions. Iron plays this role in the body, and this function places the most significant importance on iron's contribution to the body. Food with iron is a mineral that is essential in many different ways, and its importance cannot be overstated.

You can only obtain this nutrient through the consumption of food, which is one of the primary reasons experts believe it plays such an essential role in maintaining human health. The Daily Value can also be shortened as DV, and the amount equal to the DV is 18 milligrams.

It is essential to remember that the quantity of iron your body absorbs is dependent, at least in part, on the amount that it already has stored, as this is a factor that you should consider.

Food With Iron

Food With Iron

It is possible to develop a deficiency in a nutrient if the amount of that nutrient you take in daily is insufficient to replace the amount of that nutrient you lose throughout the day.

One of the symptoms of anemia is exhaustion, which can be brought on by a deficiency of the mineral iron in the body. Anemia can be brought on by a lack of iron in the body. Menstruating women who do not consume meals high in iron are at a significantly elevated risk of developing an iron deficit. This risk is even higher for women who do not consume enough iron overall.

You are fortunate because there is a diverse selection of food options accessible, all of which are of a high enough quality to assist you in meeting your daily iron requirements. These meal choices may help you meet the daily iron needs you have set for yourself.

The following list consists of twelve meals rich in iron and offers a substantial quantity of other beneficial elements.

1. Shellfish



In addition to being delicious, shellfish is a fantastic source of many nutrients necessary for the body to function correctly. Shellfish of every variety has a high iron content; clams, oysters, and mussels are excellent sources of iron. That is because clams contain the highest concentration of iron of any shellfish.

For example, a portion size of 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of clams may contain up to 3 milligrams (mg) of iron. This amount is equivalent to 17% of the daily value suggested for this particular vitamin.

However, the quantity of iron that different clams have can vary widely, and certain types may have a far lower amount of iron than others.

The non-heme iron that is found in plants is more challenging for your body to absorb than the heme iron that is found in seafood, which is located in shellfish. Heme iron can be found in seafood such as oysters, and the heme iron content of shellfish makes them a good food source.

In addition, a portion of clams that is 3.5 ounces has 26 grams of protein, 24 percent of the daily value (DV) for vitamin C, and an incredible 4,125 percent of the DV for vitamin B12.

In point of fact, each and every type of shellfish includes a high nutrient content, and it has been demonstrated that consuming shellfish can raise the level of cholesterol in your blood which is good for your heart. That is a health benefit that you can derive from eating shellfish (HDL cholesterol).

Even though there are genuine worries regarding the presence of mercury and other toxins in specific kinds of fish and shellfish, the advantages of eating seafood still far outweigh the potential drawbacks of doing so by a wide margin.


The amount of mineral iron that can be found in clams, when consumed in an amount equal to 3.5 ounces, is equivalent to 17% of the iron that is considered to be the daily value (100 grams). Those who consume shellfish have higher levels of HDL, also referred to as the "good cholesterol," in their blood who do not consume shellfish. In addition, shellfish is an abundant source of a wide variety of other nutrients necessary for human health.

2. Spinach



Spinach is connected with many health advantages, even though it has a shallow total calorie content. That is because spinach has very few calories overall.

Serving the size of raw spinach, around 3.5 ounces (100 grams), contains approximately 2.7 milligrams of iron, roughly equivalent to around 15% of the recommended daily value.

Even though spinach contains non-heme iron, which isn't absorbed as well as heme iron and has a greater concentration of vitamin C than it does of vitamin C, it is still a nutritious choice for your diet. Spinach has a higher concentration of vitamin C than it does of vitamin C. Consuming vitamin C increases the amount of iron the body can absorb. This factor makes this a significant point to consider.

Carotenoids are a type of antioxidant that can help protect your eyes from disease, reduce inflammation in your body, and lower your risk of acquiring cancer. Carotenoids also help reduce the risk of developing cancer. Eating spinach, which contains a lot of carotenoids, can help you perform all of these functions more successfully because of the carotenoids it has.

Consuming healthy fat such as olive oil and spinach is essential because your body can absorb the carotenoids in spinach and other leafy greens more effectively when taken with fat. That is true whether you are eating spinach or any other type of lush green.


In addition to possessing a range of other vitamins and minerals, one serving of spinach provides the equivalent of fifteen percent of the daily intake of the mineral iron. Spinach also contains a variety of different vitamins. In addition to that, it possesses a significant amount of antioxidants in its makeup.

3. Liver And Other Organ Meats

Liver And Other Organ Meats

Liver And Other Organ Meats

The organ meats of an animal contain a very high concentration of a wide array of essential elements. Numerous well-liked varieties of organ meat, such as liver, kidneys, brain, and heart, all contain significant amounts of iron in their respective tissue structures. All of them are different kinds of organ meat.

The amount of iron contained in 6.5 milligrams, which can be found in a portion of the beef liver that is 3.5 ounces (100 grams), is equal to 36% of the daily need for this mineral. One more illustration:

In addition, organ meats are an excellent source of B vitamins, copper, and selenium, giving a large amount of protein.

The liver is one of the most excellent quality sources of this essential mineral, and just one serving of liver contains an astounding 1,049% of the daily need for vitamin A. (3.5 ounces).

In addition, organ meats are excellent sources of choline, essential for maintaining healthy brain and liver function. Still, many people do not get enough of it in their diets. Choline is in high concentrations in organ meats such as the liver and brain. Choline is an amino acid that is found in the tissue of the liver as well as the brain.


It has an exceptionally high concentration of iron per serving, providing 36% of the recommended daily allowance. The iron content in the liver is among the highest of any food item. Organ meats are considered to be some of the most significant sources of iron available. Organ meats are a fantastic resource for a wide variety of additional nutrients, including choline, vitamin A, and selenium, to name just a few of these nutrients organ meats are a fantastic resource for a wide range of additional nutrients.

4. Legumes



Compared to other foods' nutritional content, beans have a substantially higher value.

A collection of seeds known as "legumes" comprises beans, lentils, chickpeas, peas, and soybeans. The word "legume" refers to this category of sources. However, these are just a few of the many kinds of legumes available; there are many more.

Due to the higher iron content of meals, those who abstain from eating meat, such as vegetarians, stand to gain a great deal from including them in their diet. One cup (198 grams) of cooked lentils has 6.6 milligrams of this vitamin, 37% of the daily value suggested for this nutrient. The amount of this vitamin delivered by lentils is referred to as niacin.

Consuming beans of various kinds, such as black beans, navy beans, and kidney beans, amongst other variations, is a fundamental way to increase the amount of iron obtained through one's diet.

A serving of cooked black beans consisting of a half cup (86 grams) is equivalent to roughly 1.8 grams of iron, equaling 10% of the daily value. Black beans are a good source of iron since they have a high mineral concentration. You can figure this out by dividing 1.8 grams by the recommended daily allowance.

In addition to the high concentrations of folic acid, magnesium, and potassium that legumes naturally contain, legumes also serve as a good supply of these essential nutrients.

In addition, studies have shown that people with diabetes who consume beans and other legumes have lower levels of inflammation in their systems compared to those who do not consume these foods. People who have metabolic syndrome and eat a diet high in legumes have a lower risk of developing heart disease than those who do not have metabolic syndrome and do not eat a diet high in legumes. That is because metabolic syndrome is associated with higher consumption of legumes.



In addition, some evidence suggests that including bean consumption in one's weight loss plan can benefit the process. Those have a high amount of soluble fiber, which, when consumed, can make one feel on a lower calorie intake while also reinforcing the experience of being full. That is because soluble fiber expands in the stomach when exposed to water and that is because once digested. Soluble fiber causes the stomach to expand, resulting in a feeling of fullness that lasts for a more extended period.

One piece of research found that a diet low in carbohydrates but high in fiber and contained in beans was just as effective for weight loss as another diet low in carbohydrates but high in fiber. The research compared the two diets and found that the diet that contained beans was more effective.

It is possible to improve the body's capacity to absorb iron by eating legumes alongside foods that are rich in vitamin C, such as tomatoes, greens, or citrus fruits and juices. Because of this, the body will be able to use the present iron better.


Cooked lentils include 37% of the daily value for the required mineral iron, and a serving size of lentils equal to one cup provides this amount (198 grams). In addition to having a high concentration of folate, magnesium, potassium, and fiber, legumes may also contribute to the process of assisting with weight loss. That is one of the many potential benefits of eating legumes. Consuming legumes can have numerous possible health benefits, and this is one of them.

5. Red Meat

Red Meat

Red Meat

Consuming red meat has been found to have beneficial impacts, not only on satiety but also on one's overall health.

There are 2.7 milligrams of iron in a serving of ground beef that weighs 100 grams (3.5 ounces), equivalent to 15% of the daily need for iron intake.

In addition to being a fantastic source of selenium, protein, zinc, and several B vitamins, meat is also a terrific source of all these nutrients, making it a great food choice overall. Meat is also an excellent source of selenium.

According to several research findings, people who regularly consume an adequate amount of red meat, poultry, and fish may have a lower risk of suffering from an iron deficiency. That is one of the hypotheses you may draw from the data of these studies.

People at risk of getting anemia and consuming a diet low in iron may find that red meat is an essential component of their diet because it is the most likely only source of readily available heme iron. Because of this, red meat may be considered a critical component of their diet.

According to a study investigating how women's iron stores changed due to aerobic activity, women who consumed meat had a more vital ability to preserve their iron stores than those who used iron supplements. Participants in the study were all female so that you could carry it out.


In addition to being one of the most accessible sources of heme iron, a single serving of ground beef contains 15% of the daily value of the mineral. Ground beef is also one of the best sources of minerals. In addition, it has an adequate level of selenium, protein, B vitamins, zinc, and selenium, and it is an excellent source of all these nutrients.

6. Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds make for a snack that is not only delicious but also easy to eat on the go because of their compact size.

There are 2.5 milligrams of iron in a serving size of pumpkin seeds that weigh 1 ounce (28 grams), equivalent to 14% of the daily requirement. That is the quantity of iron discovered in seeds extracted from pumpkins.

Pumpkin seeds are an abundant source of vitamin K in addition to being a rich source of the minerals zinc and manganese. Zinc and manganese are both essential for proper body function. In addition, they are an excellent source of magnesium, a vitamin frequently lacking in the diets of a significant number of individuals. Because of this, they are considered to be among the most important sources of magnesium.

The usual serving size of magnesium, one ounce or 28 grams, has been linked to a reduced risk of insulin resistance, diabetes, and depression. The food supply contains magnesium in varying amounts, and magnesium meets the requirements for one day's worth of eating in just one ounce of food (28 grams).


Each one-ounce portion of pumpkin seeds, which is the same as the daily value (DV) for the iron mineral, supplies 14% of the DV for that mineral. They are also a superb source of several other minerals, including magnesium, making them a potential choice for a food with a comprehensive nutritional profile.

7. Quinoa



The "pseudocereal" quinoa is gaining more and more attention as a viable alternative to traditional cereal grains. That is because quinoa contains many of the same nutrients as cereal grains. After being cooked, one serving of quinoa contains 2.8 milligrams of iron, equal to 16 percent of the daily value for this mineral. One cup of the grain (185 grams) yields approximately this much quinoa when cooked.

In addition, quinoa does not include any gluten, making it an excellent alternative for people unable to consume gluten due to celiac disease or another type of gluten intolerance.

In addition to having a higher protein content than many other grains, quinoa is an excellent folate, magnesium, copper, and manganese source. Quinoa also has a more significant number of other nutrients to offer than a great number of other grains.

Additionally, compared to a considerable number of other grains, quinoa possesses a higher level of antioxidant activity than any other grain, making it the only grain that can make this claim. Antioxidants are an essential component of the body's defense mechanism against the potentially harmful effects of free radicals, which are byproducts of metabolic processes and can also be generated in response to psychological or physical stress. Free radicals can be created as a result of both of these factors. Both mental and physical stress can produce free radicals in the body, and you can have free radicals in response to either type of stress.


An amount of iron in one serving of quinoa equals 16% of the daily value for iron. In addition, it is an abundant source of protein, folic acid, minerals, and antioxidants, and it does not include any gluten in its composition.

8. Turkey



Turkey meat is a delicious and nutritious alternative to other types of meat you can use instead of different kinds of meat. In addition, turkey meat, particularly dark turkey meat, is an excellent source of the mineral iron, and dark turkey meat is also an excellent source of protein. Additionally, the dark meat of turkey is an excellent source of protein.

A portion of dark turkey meat equal to 100 grams (3.5 ounces) contains 1.4 milligrams (mg) of iron, equivalent to 8% of the daily value for this mineral.

On the other hand, there is only 0.7 mg of sodium present in the same quantity of white turkey meat. Turkey meat that is white has lower fat content than dark turkey meat.

In addition, a single portion of dark turkey meat contains an impressive amount of protein, measured in grams, in addition to several B vitamins and minerals, including 32% of the daily value for zinc and 57% of the daily value for selenium.

After eating them, foods high in protein, like turkey, make you feel fuller and rev up your metabolism, both of which are beneficial to weight loss.

Consuming an adequate quantity of protein can also help prevent the loss of muscle mass associated with both the natural process of aging and the process of reducing the amount of body fat that one carries. This loss of muscle mass is associated with both the natural process of aging and the process of reducing the amount of body fat that one has. One way to achieve this is to stop the breakdown of muscle protein that usually occurs as a natural part of the aging process.


In addition to being an excellent source of a wide range of different vitamins and minerals, turkey is also an excellent source of mineral iron, providing 13% of the daily value. In addition to these minerals and vitamins, turkey is an excellent source of various other minerals and vitamins. A person who consumes it will feel fuller for a more extended period after eating it; it will also cause their metabolism to speed up, and it will assist them in preventing the loss of muscle mass. That is because it has a relatively high concentration of protein within it.

9. Broccoli



The cruciferous vegetable broccoli contains an exceptionally high concentration of various healthful nutrients. Cooked broccoli contains one milligram (mg) of iron, which is equal to 6% of the daily value for this mineral. One cup (156 grams) of broccoli contains this amount of iron, and a serving of broccoli that is one cup in size contains this quantity of the nutrient in question.

In addition, one serving of broccoli contains 112% of the daily value of vitamin C, which is known to assist the body in more effectively absorbing iron from its food.

Along with a high folate concentration, the same size serving also includes 5 grams of fiber and a minimal amount of vitamin K. The same serving contains all of these different types of nutrients. Those vegetables that, like broccoli, are classified as members of the Cruciferae family are cruciferous vegetables. Kale, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts are some vegetables that fall under this category. Broccoli is a part of this vegetable category, including other cruciferous vegetables.

It is hypothesized that plant-based compounds, like indole, sulforaphane, and glucosinolates. You can all be found in plants and protect against cancer. Cruciferous vegetables are an excellent source of all three of these compounds, and they do so in relatively high concentrations.


In addition to having a high concentration of vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate, one serving of broccoli also provides 6% of the daily value for mineral iron. Broccoli contains a high concentration of all three of these vitamins. Additionally, broccoli has a high vitamin A content due to its high nutrient content. In addition, it is a distinct possibility that it will lower the risk of developing cancer, which is a potentially significant benefit.

10. Tofu



Tofu is a fermented food typically consumed regularly by vegans, vegetarians, and residents of several countries in Asia. Tofu is created through the process of fermenting soy milk.

There are 3.4 milligrams of iron in a serving size of a half cup (126 grams), equivalent to 19 percent of the daily value. The total daily value served as the basis for calculating this percentage.

In addition to being an abundant source of thiamine, one of the necessary B vitamins, tofu is also an excellent source of several other minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, and selenium. Tofu is also an excellent source of protein. In addition, a whopping 22 grams of protein is packed into one serving.

Isoflavones, found in tofu, are a one-of-a-kind compound linked to improved insulin sensitivity, reduced risk of heart disease, and relief from the symptoms of menopause. Isoflavones can be discovered in every variety of soy-based food products.


Tofu is an excellent source of protein in addition to minerals, as it provides 19% of the daily value (DV) for iron in just one serving. Isoflavones, which can be found in them, have been shown to improve heart health and alleviate the symptoms of menopause, and this has been demonstrated.

11. Dark Chocolate

Dark Chocolate

Dark Chocolate

The darker the chocolate, the higher the concentration of healthy antioxidants and other substances it will have. Chocolate has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

There are 3.4 milligrams of iron in a single serving size of 1 ounce (28 grams), equivalent to 19 percent of the daily value. That is the amount of iron in a single serving of the food item.

In addition, one serving contains 56% of the daily value for copper and 15% of the DV for magnesium. Both of these nutrients are provided by this single serving.

In addition, it has prebiotic fiber, which acts as food for the healthy bacteria already in your digestive tract and helps those bacteria thrive. Prebiotic fiber can be found in a variety of plant-based foods.

One piece of research concluded that the levels of antioxidant activity that you can find in cocoa powder and dark chocolate are significantly higher than those that you can find in powders and juices made from acai berries and blueberries, respectively. Specifically, you found the levels of antioxidant activity in cocoa powder and dark chocolate to be significantly higher than the levels of antioxidant activity found in acai berry powder.

Eating chocolate may benefit one's cholesterol levels, and several scientific studies suggest that it may reduce the risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Consuming chocolate regularly, according to the findings of some studies, can have a beneficial effect on a person's blood pressure.

On the other hand, the quality of the ingredients used to make different kinds of chocolate can vary greatly. It is generally accepted that certain compounds in chocolate, referred to as flavonols, are accountable for chocolate's benefits. Dark chocolate's flavanol content is significantly higher than milk chocolate's. It is thought that the beneficial effects that chocolate has are due to a compound in chocolate called flavanols.

It is recommended that there be a cocoa content of at least 70 percent present in the chocolate to derive the maximum benefit from chocolate's positive effects on one's health. That is because cocoa contains antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation and improve blood flow.


In addition to several other minerals and the prebiotic fiber that is beneficial to the health of the gastrointestinal tract, a small portion of dark chocolate contains 19% of the daily value (DV) for the mineral iron. Dark chocolate is also rich in other minerals.

12. Fish



However, compared to the iron content of the flesh of other types of fish, certain species, such as tuna, have an exceptionally high concentration of iron in their flesh. In general, fish is a source of food that is very high in various nutrients.

A serving of tuna in a can that weighs 3 ounces (85 grams) contains approximately 1.4 milligrams (mg) of iron, roughly equivalent to around 8% of the daily value.

Omega-3 fatty acids are another type of heart-healthy fat found in abundance in fish, and fish is an excellent source of these acids. Fish is also a good source of omega-6 fatty acids. It has been established that eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids is associated with a variety of positive health effects, one of which is a reduced risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Notably, it has been demonstrated that omega-3 fatty acids benefit the brain's health, enhance the immune system's function, and support healthy growth and development. 
Additionally, fish is an excellent source of significant quantities of several additional essential nutrients, such as niacin, selenium, and vitamin B12.

Your diet should include iron-rich fish such as tuna, mackerel, haddock, and sardines, as well as other types of fish such as sardines, mackerel, and sardines. You should be able to find each of these fish at your local supermarket. In addition, sardines are an excellent option for those looking to obtain vitamin B12 through their diet.


One serving of tuna from a can has the potential to supply approximately 8% of the daily value of the mineral iron, and that is based on the amount of iron contained in the serving. In addition, fish is a fantastic resource for many other essential nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.

The Bottom Line

Food With Iron

Food With Iron

Because your body cannot produce iron on its own, you must consume iron-rich foods consistently or take iron supplements to satisfy your body's requirements. Iron is a mineral that plays an essential role in our bodies.

On the other hand, it is imperative to stress that specific individuals should reduce the amount of red meat and other foods that are high in heme iron that they regularly consume to lower their risk of developing certain health conditions.

On the other hand, most people have a good handle on their ability to control how much of a substance they take in through their diet. That is especially true regarding the ability to control how much of a sense they take in through their diet. That is because most people recognize the significance of establishing and maintaining healthy eating habits.

When consuming iron from plant sources, it is imperative to remember that if you don't eat meat or fish, you can improve your body's ability to absorb iron by including a source of vitamin C in your diet. That is especially important if you are a vegetarian or vegan, and food with iron is the case regardless of whether or not you get your iron from plants.

Frequently Asked Questions

What fruit has a high iron content?

Olives, mulberries, and prune juice are the three types of fruit that contain the highest iron concentration per serving. Mulberries are also a good source of iron, and Additionally, the iron content of prune juice is quite significant. In addition to a wide variety of other elements that are beneficial to one's health, these fruits are an excellent source of antioxidants and are delicious.

What causes low iron levels?

An insufficient amount of iron may be present in the body due to a combination of several different causes. These variables include: The most common cause is bleeding in the intestines and stomach, and both men and women who have been through menopause are at an increased risk for developing this condition. This disorder may be brought on by an ulcer in the stomach, cancer of the stomach, cancer of the intestine, or the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, sometimes known as NSAIDs.

What can I do to boost my iron levels?

Ingesting more iron-rich foods, such as lean meats, nuts, beans, lentils, dark green vegetables, and breakfast cereals with iron added. Other iron-rich meals include dark chocolate and nuts. Absorbing iron from a wide range of sources, including heme iron and non-heme iron. It is strongly recommended that the number of vitamin C-rich foods ingested throughout the day be increased. Some vitamin C-rich foods are citrus fruits, peppers, tomatoes, and broccoli.

Anemia has three main causes. What are they?

Hemoglobin is a protein rich in iron and is the pigment that gives blood its distinctive red hue. Hemoglobin is responsible for providing blood its characteristic color. It is in charge of carrying oxygen throughout the body, beginning in the lungs and working its way toward the extremities. Anemia can develop for a number of fundamental reasons, the most common of which are excessive blood loss, insufficient formation of red blood cells, and a high rate of breakdown of red blood cells.

Is low iron associated with anxiety?

A significant study published in BMC Psychiatry in the year 2020 found that people with iron deficiency anemia had a significantly higher prevalence and risk of anxiety disorders, depression, sleep problems, and psychotic disorders. You found this in people who had iron deficiency anemia.

What can your eyes tell you about your iron levels?

Patients with moderate or severe anemia are more likely to exhibit pallor than patients with mild anemia. If you look at yourself in the mirror while pulling down on your lower eyelid, the layer of your eye that is closest to the surface should be a beautiful red color. If it is very light pink or yellow, you may have a deficiency of iron in your body, which may be determined by looking at the color of your urine.