Common Food Sources of Iron

By Demi Sumler


Iron is an essential nutrient, which means you must acquire it through food. Your body’s ability to absorb iron is determined by how much you have stored. It is a mineral with multiple critical activities, the most essential of which is transporting oxygen throughout the body as an element of red blood cells. Fortunately, there are a variety of foods that can help you reach your daily iron requirements. We will discuss common food sources of iron that come from both animals and plants.

Iron comes in two types of foods: heme and non-heme. Animal foods include heme iron, whereas non-heme iron derives from plants.


Spinach has a lot of health advantages, but it’s also low in calories. Although this is non-heme iron, which is poorly absorbed, spinach is high in vitamin C. This is essential since vitamin C improves iron absorption substantially.

Raw spinach contains 2.7 milligrams of iron (about 15% of the daily value) in around 100g.

Beans & Legumes

Beans, lentils, chickpeas, peas, and soybeans are nutrient-dense legumes. Beans, including black beans, kidney beans, and navy beans, are all excellent sources of iron. They’re perfect for vegetarians because they’re high in iron.

Cooked lentils contain 6.6 milligrams of iron per cup, which is 37% of the daily value. Consume legumes with vitamin C-rich foods to enhance iron absorption.

Sea Food

Iron is abundant in shellfish such as clams, oysters, and mussels. Heme iron, which is present in shellfish, is easier for your body to absorb than non-heme iron found in plants.

Clams are one of the top iron-rich foods.

For example, clams can contain up to 3 milligrams of iron per 100g, which is 17% of the daily requirement.

Cooked Pacific oysters have 7.82 mg in a 3-oz serving. Cooked wild Eastern oysters have 7.83 mg of iron in a 3-ounce serving.

Iron is highly enriched in certain fish, such as tuna. Canned tuna has around 1.4 milligrams of iron per 3-ounce serving, roughly 8% of the daily value.

Organ Meats

Iron is high in organ meats such as the liver, brain, kidneys, and heart, with the liver providing 36% of the daily value. Organ meats also include a lot of other nutrients, including selenium, choline, and vitamin A.

Red Meat

According to research, iron deficiency may be less common in individuals who consume meat, poultry, and fish daily. Red meat is possibly the most readily available form of heme iron, which potentially makes it an essential food for anemia sufferers who do not follow a plant-based diet.

For example, a 100g serving of ground beef has 2.7mg of iron, or 15% of the daily value.

Fortified Cereals

Iron may be found in breakfast cereals. However, you must select the right ones, such as fortified cereals that provide 100% of your daily iron requirement.

Depending on the product, fortified hot cereals contain roughly 11 mg of iron per package.


Tofu is a vegan soy-based food rich in protein, thiamine, and several minerals. It is well-liked by vegetarians and also includes isoflavones, which are unique substances.

126g of tofu provides 3.4 milligrams of iron, which is 19% of the daily value.


Broccoli is a superfood that’s packed with vitamins and minerals. Cooked broccoli has 1 mg of iron in a 1-cup serving, 6% of the recommended daily intake.

A serving of broccoli contains 112% of the daily value for vitamin C, which increases iron absorption.

Dried Fruits

Since dried fruit is high in natural sugars and calories, you should only eat a small amount each day.

One cup of apricot has 7.5mg of iron or about 42% of the daily value. Per cup of dried raisins, you’ll get 17% of your daily value.



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