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Iron Rich Foods

Why Consume Iron Rich Foods?

It is important to eat iron rich foods to maintain a healthy body.  Iron, in the form of iron rich foods, is needed by the body to create and maintain red blood cells.  Red blood cells carry oxygen in your body.  If you do not eat enough iron rich foods, the body does not get enough oxygen due to a lack of red blood cells.  You will feel tired and weak.  A lack of iron rich foods in your diet causes Anaemia and can lead to other serious health issues.

What Are The Iron Rich Foods?

The following is a list of some of the iron rich foods.

Iron Rich Foods From Animals Amount Iron (mg)
Beef (ground) 3 oz. 1.8
Beef liver (not recommended for pregnant women) 3 oz. 5.3
Boiled egg 1 (large) 1.1
Chicken (dark) 3 oz. 1.4
Chicken (light) 3 oz. 1.0
Clams ¼ cup 11.2
Lamb roast 2 slices 1.4
Pork roast 2 slices 1.0
Salmon steak 1 0.8
Turkey 3 oz. 1.6
Iron Rich Foods From Plants Amount Iron (mg)
Apricots (dried halves) 10 1.7
Baked beans 1 cup 5.0
Broccoli (fresh cooked) ½ cup 0.7
Cereal (fortified) 1 cup 1 to 15 (depending on brand)
Chickpeas (canned) ½ cup 1.6
Lentils (cooked and drained) 1 cup 3.3
Lima beans 1 cup 4.6
Molasses (blackstrap) 1 tablespoon 5.0
Prune juice 1 cup 11.0
Spinach (canned and drained) 1 cup 5.0

Which Iron Rich Foods Should Be Eaten?


There are two types of iron rich foods.  There are iron rich foods from animals, such as beef, pork, lamb, fish and chicken.  Plants can also be a source of iron rich foods such as apricots, prunes, broccoli, beans lentils and spinach.  Iron rich foods from animals contain heme iron.  Non-heme iron is in foods from plants.  Heme iron is more easily absorbed by your body.  In fact, most of the iron in plant-based iron rich foods will pass right through your body without being absorbed.  This is why it is good to include some meat products in your diet, if possible.

How Should Iron Rich Foods Be Eaten?

To get the most out of the iron rich foods from plants, include items in the meal rich in vitamin C.  Vitamin C increases iron absorption.  Also, including a little meat with the meal will increase overall iron absorption from all iron rich foods consumed.  Avoid drinking coffee or tea with the meal as caffeine reduces iron absorption.  Drinking milk with the meal does not affect the absorption of iron from iron rich foods.  Using an iron frying pan for cooking will increase the iron content of the meal and so is also beneficial.

It is recommended that you get between 8.7 and 14.8 mg of iron daily.  It is important to monitor your diet to ensure you are getting the iron you need.  Often a person can feel tired and not realize they are iron deficient.  If you have questions or concerns about the iron in your diet or want more information about iron rich foods, contact your family physician.

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