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Home Nutrition Healthy Eating Foods High In Iron

Foods High In Iron



Foods High In Iron


Foods that are high in iron are important to include as a mainstay of your diet. Iron is an important mineral which is used to carry oxygen throughout the body. That makes it a particularly essential element for those involved in fitness routines and bodybuilding programs since working muscles and organs require more oxygen during workouts.


Although too much iron can be harmful, damaging the heart and liver, it rarely occurs because the body adequately regulates iron levels. However, iron deficiency (even slight) is much more common and often leads to fatigue (anemia) while severe deficiency can cause organ failure.


It is recommended that the average person receive 18mg of iron daily. If your diet is iron poor then you may need to supplement your diet with products containing iron. However, sufficient levels of iron can readily be maintained by adding the following foods, which are naturally high in iron, to a healthy diet.





Countdown to the Highest Iron-Rich Food

  • 10) Sunflower Seeds – A 100g serving of sunflower seeds supplies 5.3mg, or 29% of the RDA of iron. These crunchy nuggets are also a good source of vitamin E, magnesium and thiamin.


  • 9) Dried Apricots - Containing 6.3mg of iron per 100g, dried apricots provide 35% of the RDA. Dried apricots also happen to be high in vitamin A and potassium.


  • 8) Dried Tomatoes – These tasty additions to soups, salads, sauces and sandwiches pack 9.1mg of iron in 100g (51% RDA). One cup, or 50g, supplies 4.9mg (27%) or iron.


  • 7) Caviar – Caviar is a coveted hors d’oeuvre at parties and social gatherings. What’s more, this delicious treat contains 11.9mg of iron and provides 66% of the Recommended Daily Allowance (1.9mg or 11% per T).


  • 6) Sesame – Toasted sesame seeds and sesame butter (or Tahini) are also a good source of iron. The seeds contain 14.8mg per 100g which equates to 82% of the RDA, while Tahini which is commonly used to make Hummus provides 50% RDA, or 8.95mg per 100g.


  • 5) Roasted Squash and Pumpkin Seeds – The next time you clean out a squash or pumpkin don’t throw away those seeds! Instead, roast them and eat them as a snack, sprinkle them on a salad, or stir some in a soup. 100g supply 15mg or iron (83% RDA) and 1oz contains 4.2mg, or 23% RDA.


  • 4) Shellfish – Shellfish, such as oysters, mussels and clams, are packed with iron. Mussels have 6.72mg per 100g, oysters have 12mg per 100g, and clams provide the most with 28mg in a 100g serving.


  • 3) Liver – Liver is an excellent source of iron as well as being rich in vitamins. The highest source per 100g is pork liver at 100% RDA in 17.9mg, followed by chicken liver with 72% RDA, turkey liver at 67% RDA, lamb liver with 57% RDA and finally beef liver which provides 36% RDA.


  • 2) Cocoa – Cocoa powder which is free of milk, fat and sugar contains a full 36mg of iron in a 100g serving (approximately 1.8mg per T). You can also get a good punch of iron from unsweetened baking chocolate (17.4mg/100g or 23mg/cup) and even yummy sweetened milk chocolate (2.4mg per100g or 1mg in a chocolate bar averaging 1.5oz).


  • 1) Dried Herbs – Most dried herbs are a good source of iron and are excellent to use in a variety of dishes to add sparkle to the flavor. Thyme (pictured above) is the highest with 124mg of iron per 100g (3.7mg/T or 21% RDA). Parsley has 11% RDA in a tablespoon. A tablespoon of dried spearmint contains 10% RDA. Many other herbs also provide between 5%-10% RDA.


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