Iron Rich Foods List

November 12, 2012

Iron Rich Foods List

If you suffer from iron deficiency anemia you will feel bad tempered, tired and feel weak as a result. This type of anemia is caused by a reduction in the amount of red blood cells caused by insufficient iron. Your body is not able to make enough haemoglobin. Statistics show 3% of males, 20% of females and 50% of women who are pregnant do not have enough iron in their body. For many people there is a simple solution to correct this. Eat more from an iron rich foods list.

The Effect of Iron in Food

The small intestine generally absorbs the iron from the iron rich foods list. Spinach along with other iron rich foods is excellent in raising iron levels. So the risk of iron deficiency anemia is reduced.

Iron rich foods can be found in two forms. One is heme and the other nonheme. Heme iron comes from haemoglobin. This can be found in animal foods which initially contained haemoglobin. Examples are fish, poultry and red meats. More iron is absorbed from food from heme sources.

Iron Rich Foods List

The following foods are an excellent source of heme iron. 3.5 milligrams per serving: 3oz oysters, 3oz liver (chicken or beef), 3oz molluscs and clams. 2.1 milligrams or above per serving: 3oz cooked beef or turkey, 3oz canned sardines in oil. 0.7 milligrams or above per serving: 3oz veal, chicken or ham. 3oz tuna, perch, haddock, halibut or salmon.

Nonheme Iron

This type of iron is added to iron-enriched and iron-fortified foods. Spinach, beans and lentils and other plant foods are nonheme iron. Dietary iron is mainly nonheme iron which the body doesn’t absorb that efficiently.

Nonheme Iron Rich Foods List

Listed below are foods which contain nonheme iron

  • 3.5 milligrams per serving: Iron fortified breakfast cereals.

  • 1 cupful of beans (cooked)

  • 1oz squash, sesame, pumpkin seeds

  • A half cupful of tofu

  • 2.1 milligrams or above per serving:

  • 1 cupful of apricots (dried)

  • 1 medium sized baked potato

  • A half cupful of canned red kidney beans, split peas, chickpeas or lima beans.

  • 1 medium stalk of broccoli

  • A fourth of a cupful of wheat germ

  • 1 cupful of cooked enriched egg noodles

  • 0.7 milligrams or above:

  • 1 half cupful of dried prunes, peaches, or seedless raisins

  • 1 cupful of spinach

  • 1 oz of sunflower seeds, roasted cashews, peanuts, pecans, pistachios, walnuts or roasted almonds

  • 1 cupful of pasta

  • 1 medium sized green pepper

  • 1 slice of pumpernickel bagel, bread or bran muffin

  • 1 cupful of rice

The best way to get more iron from food

There are certain foods which can help the body absorb iron. But there are others which can hamper the absorption. Don’t drink tea or coffee or foods or drinks rich in calcium with meals which are rich in iron.

Eat nonheme iron foods with a good source of vitamin C, for example, strawberries, broccoli, orange juice, or food from poultry, fish and meat.

If you feel you are not getting enough iron from your iron rich foods list, it may be you will need to take an iron supplement. Speak with your doctor before taking any supplements to find out the exact dose and follow all instructions.

Iron is excreted from the body in very small amounts and can build up in organs and body tissue when the spleen, bone marrow and liver are full. Poisoning from iron in food is very rare, but lethal overdoses from iron supplements are possible.


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