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10 Healthy Foods That Are Great Sources Of Iron You Must Include In Your Diet

Iron is a quintessential element that performs a plethora of activities including carrying oxygen throughout your body (as RBCs) and many more. You must incorporate adequate iron rich foods into your diet to fulfill its daily requirements (18 mg for healthy adults). The deficiency of iron may lead to anemia and other problems like extreme fatigue, breathing difficulties, and so on. Menstruating women who don’t consume foods with iron are more prone to developing iron deficiency.

Here, we are going to describe some of the foods that contain iron.

10 Best Iron Rich Indian Foods

1. Spinach

This is one of the popular sources of iron, especially for vegetarians. 100 grams of spinach contains

  • 2.7 mg of iron
  • 28 mg of vitamin C


Vitamin C plays an important role in the better absorption of iron in your body. Apart from iron and vitamin C, spinach is also flooded with vitamin A, K and minerals like magnesium and manganese. Spinach also contains antioxidants called carotenoids that will minimize the risk of cancer, lessen inflammation, and protect your eyes from various diseases. Spinach controls blood pressure in people who are having hypertension.

2. Shellfish

Shellfish are not only delicious but also an excellent source of iron. 100 grams of shellfish contains,

  • 3 mg of iron (17% of the DV)
  • 26 grams of protein
  • 24% of the DV for vitamin C


Shellfish offers heme iron that gets absorbed by your body more conveniently than non-heme iron. Due to all these wholesome ingredients, shellfish enhances good cholesterol or HDL cholesterol in your blood.

3. Liver and Other Organ Meat

Organ meats like liver, kidneys, brain, and heart are rich in iron. A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of beef liver contains 6.5 mg of iron (36% of the DV)

Organ meats are loaded with protein and rich in B vitamins, copper, and selenium. Organ meats are the best sources of choline (an imperative nutrient for the brain and liver).

4. Legume

Some imperative types of legumes are beans, lentils, chickpeas, peas, and soybeans. Legumes offer adequate iron and thus, they are beneficial for vegetarians. One cup (198 grams) of cooked legumes contains 6.6 mg (nearly 37% of the DV).

Legumes are also rich in folate, magnesium, and potassium. Several medical studies have proved that legumes are effective in lessening inflammation in people with diabetes. Legumes may also minimize heart disease risk for people who have metabolic syndrome.

Legumes will also support your weight loss as they are rich in soluble fiber that gives you a feeling of fullness.

5. Red Meat

A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of ground beef offers 2.7 mg of iron (nearly 15% of the DV ).

Meat is flooded with protein, zinc, selenium and vitamin B. Medical research has also claimed that iron deficiency may be less likely in people who consume meat, poultry, and fish regularly. Red meat is a readily accessible source of heme iron that is effective for people who are prone to anemia.

6. Pumpkin Seeds

You must incorporate pumpkin seeds into your iron rich foods list. A 1-ounce (28-gram) serving of pumpkin seeds offers 2.5 mg of iron (nearly14% of the DV).

Moreover, pumpkin seeds are good sources of vitamin K, zinc, magnesium and manganese.

A 1-ounce (28-gram) serving contains 40% of the DV for magnesium. Magnesium is beneficial in minimizing the risk of insulin resistance, diabetes, and depression.

7. Quinoa

When you are planning to enhance your daily iron intake, quinoa must be on your list. One cup (185 grams) of cooked quinoa offers 2.8 mg of iron (nearly 16% of the DV). Since quinoa has no gluten, hence it is ideal for people who are suffering from celiac disease or gluten intolerance.

Quinoa is also crammed with folate, magnesium, copper, manganese, and other imperative nutrients. Antioxidants in quinoa fight against free radicals that form due to oxidative stress.

8. Turkey

Dark turkey meat is an excellent source of iron.

A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) portion of dark turkey meat offers 1.4 mg of iron (nearly 8% of the DV).

Dark turkey meat is also packed up with several B vitamins and minerals, including zinc and selenium. High protein rich foods are effective for your weight loss journey as they give you a feeling of fullness. They are also beneficial in increasing your metabolic rate after a meal.

9. Broccoli

When you are desperately looking for some iron rich fruits and vegetables, how could you ignore Broccoli? A 1-cup (156-gram) serving of cooked broccoli contains 1 mg of iron (nearly 6% of the DV). Broccoli also offers vitamin C which helps in absorption of the iron in a better way.

Broccoli is also rich in folate, fiber, and vitamin K. Broccoli belongs to the cruciferous vegetable family. Cruciferous vegetables contain indole, sulforaphane, and glucosinolates which safeguard against cancer.

10. Tofu

This soy-based product is popular among vegetarians and in some Asian countries.

A half-cup (126-gram) serving provides 3.4 mg of iron (nearly19% of the DV). Tofu is rich in thiamine and several minerals, including calcium, magnesium, and selenium. Tofu has isoflavones, which improve insulin sensitivity and minimize the risk of heart disease.

The Bottom Line

You must consume iron regularly as your body can’t produce it. But you must restrict your consumption of red meat that is rich in heme iron. If you are not consuming meat or fish, then you must incorporate those food items that are rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C boosts the absorption of iron.

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