Lists of Foods Rich in Iron

Iron rich foods are an essential part of a healthy diet. Getting iron from a variety of sources will help your body manage the naturally fluctuating iron levels in the body, ensuring that you will have a healthy supply of red blood cells. If you have a condition that does not allow you to absorb and maintain iron properly, talk with your doctor about how to alter your diet to provide additional iron sources.

Why We Need Foods Rich in Iron?

Iron is an essential mineral that allows the body to produce red blood cells. If the body does not have enough iron, you can develop anemia or iron deficiency that will lead to a lower level of red blood cells. As your body rids itself of old blood cells, it will not be able to replace them, which will lower your ability to supply your cells with oxygen and nutrients.

Consuming foods rich in iron will help ensure that your body will have enough of this mineral to produce a plentiful amount of healthy red blood cells. Consuming foods high in iron after an injury or when you have a condition that causes bleeding will help your body replace its lost blood store more quickly, aiding in your recovery. Those who have a condition that limits their ability to absorb iron will need to consume iron from a variety of sources to avoid developing anemia.


List of Iron Rich Foods

Iron can be found in a variety of food sources. Taking in iron from a variety of food sources daily basis will help ensure that you have a healthy store of iron as your red blood cells naturally shift. Iron in food sources can come in heme and nonheme forms. Heme iron is found in animal tissues. Your body can absorb up to 30 percent of these stores. Nonheme iron is found in plant and animal based foods. Your body will only absorb 2-10 percent of these stores. Increasing your intake of vitamin C can increase your ability to successfully absorb iron.

Foods rich in iron are summarized in the table below:

Type of Foods

Iron Rich Foods


Spinach, chard, kale, collards, beet greens, dandelion greens, peas, broccoli, string beans and sweet potatoes

Bread and Cereals

Whole wheat bread, wheat products, rye bread, cream of wheat, bran cereal, oat cereal, corn meal, enriched rice, enriched white bread, and enriched macaroni


Tuna, mackerel, haddock, dried cod, sardines, oysters, shrimp, clams, and scallops


Dates, figs, prunes, raisins, dried apricots, prune juice, dried peaches, strawberries, and watermelon


Beef, lamb, liver, liverwurst, ham, veal, pork, dried beef, kidney, brains, heart, tongue, chicken, and turkey

Other Foods

Instant breakfast, corn syrup, maple syrup, molasses, eggs, dried beans, dried peas, and lentils

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