iron rich foods

Iron Rich Foods

Iron is a vital mineral for our body which is required for growth and development and as far as possible we should eat Iron Rich foods for a healthy life.

It has several vital functions in our body including carrying oxygen to tissues from the lungs. Our body uses iron to make hemoglobin and myoglobin. Hemoglobin carries oxygen different parts f body and myoglobin carries oxygen to muscles.

Dietary irons are mainly in two forms Heme and Non-heme.

Plants contains non-heme irons were as meat, seafood and poultry contain both heme and non-heme irons.

Irons as a dietary mineral is present in many food and also available as a dietary supplement. Here we are going to bring you some of the best Iron rich foods, some of them may surprise you!!!

Iron deficiency symptoms

In many cases, symptoms occur well before it becomes iron deficiency anemia. These symptoms are not limited only to iron deficiencies and generally, these symptoms may occur if someone has an iron deficiency. Some of the common sighs are Fatigue, dizziness/lightheartedness, pallor, hair loss, witches, irritability, weakness, pica, brittle or grooved nails, hair thinning, the pharynx and the esophagus, impaired immune function, pagophagia, restless legs syndrome.

Causes of iron Deficiency

Some of the common cause of Iron Deficiency are

  • Blood loss :
    Any type of blood loss which may occur due to donation or menstrual bleeding can cause iron deficiency.Internal bleeding can also cause this deficiency.
  • Inadequate intake:
    Taking less of iron rich food or under nutrition food or poor eating habit may cause iron deficiency.
  • Medical Conditions :
    Certain medical condition such as cancer and heart decease or drugs or food may reduces the iron absorption in body.
  • Pregnancy : 
    One of the most common cause of iron deficiency is due to pregnancy.In pregnancy  there is increase in iron requirement in body and if adequate intake is not there it will led to iron deficiency and other complication.

Recommended doses

Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for Iron 
Birth to 6 months0.27 mg*0.27 mg*  
7–12 months11 mg11 mg  
1–3 years7 mg7 mg  
4–8 years10 mg10 mg  
9–13 years8 mg8 mg  
14–18 years11 mg15 mg27 mg10 mg
19–50 years8 mg18 mg27 mg9 mg
51+ years8 mg8 mg  
* Adequate Intake (AI)

Plant-based sources of iron rich foods

Plant iron rich foods contain non heme irons.Here are list of vegetarian iron rich foods

  • Legumes

    Legumes are plants or maybe fruits of plants or seeds of such plants from plant families know as Fabaceae. These are often dried and used as pules and are grown agriculturally by humans for their own and livestock consumption. These pules are a great source of vitamins and minerals. Most of this pulse is a great source of Iron. Lentils, beans, and chickpeas most commonly used and have good iron contents along with other nutritions.

iron rich foods


Lentils belong to the legume family. They resemble a tiny bean, grow in pods, and come in red, brown, black, and green varieties. 

They also contain high levels of protein and fiber. Per 100 gram of lentils contains 7.5 mg of iron in dry form. per 100 grams Boiled lentils contain 3.3 mg of iron and per 100 g sprouted contains 3.1 mg of iron.

 It is also a great source of protein with 9 gms per 100 grams of lentils.



It is the seed of one of the flowering plants and is used as vegetables and animal food. They can be cooked in many ways such as boiling, frying, and backing. 

Beans are considered to be highly nutritious as it contains many minerals. vitamins and nutrients in good quantity as compared to any other vegetarian foods.
Per 100-gram raw bean has 5.1 mg of iron along with 21 grams of protein. These are good sources of fibers and calcium.



Chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, are a type of legume. The most common type has a round shape and a beige color, but other varieties are black, green, or red.

 Their nutrients have various health benefits. It contains 6.2 mg of iron along with 19 grams of proteins per 100 grams. Boiled chickpeas contain 2.9 mg of iron per 100 grams. 

These are consumed in a variety of ways in different countries and across cultures.

  • Firm Tofu
    Soya tofu is commonly used in Indian dishes. Tofu is a food made from condensed soy milk. Firm tofu. It is popular among vegans and vegetarians as it contains significant amounts of protein, iron, and calcium.
    A half-cup serving of tofu contains 6.65 mg of iron and about 10 g of protein.
  • Tempeh
    This is a soy product made by a natural culturing and controlled fermentation process that binds soybeans into a cake often includes additional beans and grains. Though it’s known for its high protein and iron content, it offers a host of different health benefits.
     It contains 2.7 mg of iron per 100 grams with other high-value nutritious. Also, know as tempe
  • Pumpkin seeds
    Pumpkin seeds are a good source of B vitamins, magnesium, iron, and protein. The seeds have high levels of essential fatty acids that help maintain healthy blood vessels and lower unhealthy cholesterol in the blood.
    100 grams of pumpkin seeds contains 3.3 mg of iron. Dried pumpkin seeds contain 8.8 mg of iron along with other nutrients and these are high in fibers. These may contain protein up to 30 grams per 100 grams.
  • Sunflower seeds
    Sunflower seeds are fruits of sunflowers and full of nutritious contains, minerals and vitamins. There are many health benefits associated with these seeds and widely used as food.
    100 grams of dried sunflower seeds contain 5.3 mg of iron and toasted contains 6.8 mg per 100 grams. It has 17 grams of pf protein per 100 grams.
  • Nuts

    Nut a generally good source of protein, fats, fibers, and minerals. Nuts are fruits of plants which has hard shell and seeds which are mostly edible. Some nuts are a good source of Iron especially cashews and almonds.

iron rich foods


The fat present in cashew nuts are responsible for the growth of good cholesterol and reduction of the bad cholesterol and are an excellent source of antioxidant. It contains 6.7 mg of irons per 100 grams and has 18 grams of protein. These are high on calories as it provides 553 Kcal per 100 grams and hence the advice to be taken considering the calories content.



Almonds has many health benefits as it contain proteins, minerals and other nutrition. It contain 3.72 mg of iron per 100 grams.These nuts are also high on calcium.

Each 100 g of almonds contains 579 calories and has the following nutritional profile: protein: 21.15 g. fat: 49.93 g. carbohydrate: 21.55 g.

  • Wholegrain cereals
    Wholegrain cereals also know as know whole grains are the best breakfast if you are looking for healthy food. A whole grain has endosperm, germ, and bran, some of these may be missing in refined cereals. Consumption of whole-grain has been always associated with lots of health benefits. Some of the best whole grain cereals are oats or muesli, wholemeal bread, brown rice, amaranth, and quinoa.
    Whole grains are a good source of protein, fibers, minerals, and vitamins. They have fat less than 5 gm per 100 grams with an iron content of 2.5 mg per 100 grams.
  • Dried Apricots
    Dried Apricots are a great source of Nutrients. Dried apricots are made by drying apricot fruits. Their water content is evaporated without reducing their nutritive value. The fruits are also good sources of lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants that are known to boost eye health. It contains about 3 mg of iron per 100 grams long with proteins, vitamins, and minerals.

  • Vegetables
    A diet rich in vegetables and fruits can lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, prevent some types of cancer, lower risk of eye and digestive problems, and have a positive effect on blood sugar, which can help keep appetite in check. They are also an excellent source of antioxidants which help neutralize harmful free radicals. The nutritional content of vegetables depends on the specific vegetable.

    Best iron-rich vegetable foods are kale, broccoli, spinach, and green peas

iron rich foods
  • kale: 
    Kale is a widely used vegetable and belongs to cabbage family. The leaves can be green or purple and have either a smooth or curly shape. It contains 1.7 milligrams of iron per 100 grams. Kale is a green, leafy, cruciferous vegetable that is rich in nutrients. It may offer a range of health benefits for the whole body.
  • Broccoli
    Broccoli is an edible green plant in the cabbage family whose large flowering head and stalk are eaten as a vegetable. These vegetables are known for their beneficial health effects. Broccoli is high in many nutrients, including fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, and potassium.
     It contains 0.7 mg per 100 grams.

iron rich foods
  • Spinach
    Spinach is a superfood. It is loaded with tons of nutrients in a low-calorie package. Dark, leafy greens like spinach are important for skin, hair, and bone health.
    It contains 2.71 mg of irons per 100 grams. Spinach is rich in vitamins A, C and K, magnesium, iron, and manganese. Eating this leafy green veggie may benefit eye health,reduce oxidative stress and reduce blood pressure levels among other health functions.

iron rich foods
  • Green peas
    Green peas are loaded with A, B-1, B-6, C, and a supersized serving of osteoporosis-fighting K. They will also boost levels of folate, a micro-nutrient that is essential for heart health and foetal development.
    It contains 1.5 mg per 100 grams.

Animal-based iron rich foods

Animal Meats are good source of iron and other nutrition. These are easily available and preferred foods worldwide.

Here are best animal based iron rich foods.

  • Liver ( chicken and Lambs )
    Most of animal liver are rich in iron and other nutrition. It contain up-to 17.9 mg of iron per 100 grams
  • Sardines
    Sardines Scaly fish are excellent sources of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. It contains 2.9 mg of iron per 100 grams
  • Kangaroo Meat
    Kangaroo Meats are quite popular in some countries. It contains 3.2 mg of iron per 100 gram of meat.
  • Lamb Meat
    Lamb Meat  contains 2.5 mg of iron per 100 gram of meat.
  • Chicken Egg
    Chicken eggs are one of the widely used food world wide which are easily available and easy to cook.It contain 1.2 mg of iron per 100 gram of boiled egg.
  • Duck Meat
    Cooked duck meat contains 2.7 mg of iron per 100 grams.
  • Canned Salmon
    Salmon contains 0.99 milligrams of iron per 100 grams but these are high on other nutrients