Foods And Fruits With Iron

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foods and fruits with iron, then the massive availability of such items would give you lots of options. The given time has made the discovery of the best one among these lots a difficult task. By understanding which foods and fruits have iron in them, it will be easier to supplement your diet with items that are likely to provide you with these nutrients.

Fruits and Vegetables High in Iron

Fruits and Vegetables High in Iron

Iron is an essential mineral used to transport oxygen around the body in the form of hemoglobin. A slight deficiency of iron causes anemia (fatigue/weakness), and a chronic deficiency can lead to organ failure.

Conversely, too much iron leads to the production of harmful free radicals and interferes with metabolism causing damage to organs like the heart and liver. Iron which comes from fruits and vegetables is well regulated by the body, so overdose is rare and usually only occurs when people take supplements.

Contrary to popular belief, fruits and vegetables can be a good source of iron. In addition, vitamin C is abundant in fruits and vegetables, and helps increase the absorption of iron into the body.

Fruits and vegetables high in iron include dried fruits, dark leafy greens, podded peas, asparagus, button mushrooms, acorn squash, leeks, dried coconut, green beans, and raspberries. The current daily value (DV) for iron is 18 milligrams (mg).

List of Fruits and Vegetables High in Iron

Dried Apricots

#1: Dried Fruit (Apricots)

Iron
per Cup
Iron
per 100g
Iron
per 200 Calories
8mg
(42% DV)
6mg
(35% DV)
4mg
(22% DV)

Nutrition Facts for Low-Moisture Dried Apricots

More Dried fruit High in Iron

  • 36% DV per cup of dried peaches
  • 26% DV per cup of dried prunes and currants
  • 24% DV per cup of dried raisins
  • 21% DV per cup of dried pears
  • 17% DV per cup of dried figs
  • 7% DV per cup of dried apples

Note: Dried fruit is high in natural sugars, so should be eaten in moderate servings of around 1 handful per day.

A Bowl of Spinach

#2: Spinach

Iron
per Cup Cooked
Iron
per 100g
Iron
per 200 Calories
6mg
(36% DV)
4mg
(20% DV)
31mg
(172% DV)

Nutrition Facts for Cooked Spinach

Other Greens High in Iron

  • 22% DV per cup of cooked Swiss chard
  • 16% DV per cup of cooked turnip greens
  • 6% DV per cup of raw chopped kale
  • 5% DV per cup of raw chopped beet greens

Green podded peas

#3: Podded Peas

Iron
per Cup
Iron
per 100g
Iron
per 200 Calories
3mg
(18% DV)
2mg
(11% DV)
9mg
(52% DV)

Nutrition Facts for Cooked Snow Peas

  • Lima beans provide 23% DV of iron per cup

Heads of asparagus

#4: Asparagus

Iron
per Cup
Iron
per 100g
Iron
per 200 Calories
3mg
(16% DV)
2mg
(12% DV)
21mg
(119% DV)

Nutrition Facts for Asparagus.

A cup of asparagus contains just 27 calories.

Mushrooms

#5: White Button Mushrooms

Iron
per Cup Cooked
Iron
per 100g
Iron
per 200 Calories
3mg
(15% DV)
2mg
(10% DV)
12mg
(69% DV)

Nutrition Facts for Cooked White Button Mushrooms

Other Mushrooms High in Iron

  • 45% DV per cup of cooked morels
  • 6% DV per cup of cooked oyster mushrooms
  • 3% DV per cup of shiitake

An acorn squash

#6: Acorn Squash

Iron
per Cup Cooked
Iron
per 100g
Iron
per 200 Calories
2mg
(11% DV)
1mg
(5% DV)
3mg
(18% DV)

Nutrition Facts for Baked Acorn Squash

Pumpkin provides 7% DV per cup, most other winter squash provide 6% DV per cup.

Stalks of leeks

#7: Leeks

Iron
per Cup
Iron
per 100g
Iron
per 200 Calories
2mg
(10% DV)
2mg
(12% DV)
7mg
(38% DV)

Nutrition Facts for Leeks

Scallions (spring onions) are also high in iron with (2% DV) per onion.

Half a coconut

#8: Dried Coconut

Iron
per Oz
Iron
per 100g
Iron
per 200 Calories
1mg
(5% DV)
3mg
(19% DV)
1mg
(6% DV)

Nutrition Facts for Dried Coconut)

Other Coconut Products High in Iron

  • 5% DV per ounce of toasted desiccated (dried) coconut
  • 5% DV per ounce of creamed coconut
  • 5% DV per ounce of coconut milk

Vegetarian Foods That Are Loaded With Iron

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Iron is an essential nutrient that plays an important role in many bodily functions

A diet lacking in iron can result in low energy levels, shortness of breath, headaches, irritability, dizziness or anemia.

Iron can be found in two forms in foods — heme and non-heme. Heme iron is only found in animal products, whereas non-heme iron is only found in plants

The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) is based on an average intake of 18 mg per day. However, individual requirements vary based on a person’s gender and life stage.

For instance, men and post-menopausal women generally require around 8 mg of iron per day. This amount increases to 18 mg per day for menstruating women and to 27 mg per day for pregnant women.

And, since non-heme iron tends to be less easily absorbed by our bodies than heme iron, the RDA for vegetarians and vegans is 1.8 times higher than for meat eaters

Here is a list of 21 plant foods that are high in iron.

1–3: Legumes

Legumes, including beans, peas and lentils, are great sources of iron.

Listed below are the varieties containing the most iron, from highest to lowest.

1. Tofu, tempeh, natto and soybeans

Soybeans and foods derived from soybeans are packed with iron.

In fact, soybeans contain around 9.9 mg of it per cup, or 55% of the DV. The same portion of natto, a fermented soybean product, offers 15.1 mg, or 84% of the DV

Similarly, 6 ounces of soft tofu offers 2.56 mg of iron, or 14% of the DV. And the same portion of tempeh offers 4.48 mg of iron, or 25% of the DV

In addition to iron, these soy products contain between 10–34 grams of protein per portion and are also a good source of calcium, phosphorus and magnesium.

2. Lentils

Lentils are another iron-filled food, providing 6.6 mg per cup cooked, or 37% of the RDI

Lentils contain a significant amount of protein, complex carbs, fiber, folate and manganese as well. One cup of cooked lentils contains 18 grams of protein and covers 56% of the DV for fiber.

3. Other beans and peas

Other types of beans contain good amounts of iron as well.

Lima beans, navy beans, chickpeas, and black-eyed peas closely follow soybeans, offering 4.2–4.7 mg of iron per cup cooked, or 23–26% of the DV

However, red kidney beans and white beans have the highest iron content. They provide around 5.2-6.6 mg per cup cooked, or 29–37% of the RDI

In addition to their iron content, beans and peas are excellent sources of complex carbs, fiber, folate, phosphorus, potassium, manganese and several beneficial plant compounds.

Several studies also link regularly consuming beans and peas to lower blood pressure and cholesterol. These foods may also lower blood sugar levels, but researchers say more evidence is needed

SUMMARY:

Beans, peas and lentils are rich in iron. These legumes also contain good amounts of protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and beneficial plant compounds that may reduce your risk of various diseases.

4–5: Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds serve as two more iron-rich plant sources.

Those who wish to increase their total daily iron intake should add the following varieties to their diet, as they contain the highest amounts.

4. Pumpkin, sesame, hemp and flaxseeds

Pumpkin, sesame, hemp and flaxseeds are the seeds richest in iron, containing around 1.7–3.9 mg per ounce (28.5 grams), or 9–22% of the DV

Products derived from these seeds are also worth considering. For instance, two tablespoons (30 grams) of tahini, a paste made from sesame seeds, contain 1.3 mg of iron — which is 7% of the DV

Similarly, hummus made from chickpeas and tahini provides you with around 3.1 mg of iron per half cup, or 17% of the DV

Seeds contain good amounts of plant protein, fiber, calcium, magnesium, zinc, selenium, antioxidants and other beneficial plant compounds, too

They’re also a great source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Hemp seeds, in particular, seem to contain these two fats in the ratio considered optimal for human health

5. Cashews, pine nuts and other nuts

Nuts and nut butters contain quite a bit of non-heme iron.

This is especially true for almonds, cashews, pine nuts and macadamia nuts, which contain between 0.8–1.7 mg of iron per ounce (28.5 grams), or around 4–9% of the DV

Similarly to seeds, nuts are a great source of protein, fiber, good fats, vitamins and minerals, as well as antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds

Keep in mind that blanching or roasting nuts may damage their nutrients, so favor raw and unblanched varieties

As for nut butters, it’s best to choose a 100% natural variety to avoid an unnecessary dose of added oils, sugars and salt.

SUMMARY:

Nuts and seeds are good sources of non-heme iron, as well as an array of other vitamins, minerals, fiber, healthy fats and beneficial plant compounds. Add a small portion to your menu each day.

6–10: Vegetables

Gram per gram, vegetables often have a higher iron content than foods typically associated with high iron, such as meat and eggs.

Though vegetables contain non-heme iron, which is less easily absorbed, they are also generally rich in vitamin C, which helps enhance iron absorption

The following vegetables and vegetable-derived products offer the most iron per serving.

6. Leafy greens

Leafy greens, such as spinach, kale, swiss chard, and beet greens contain between 1–5.7 mg of iron per cooked cup, or 6–32% of the RDI

Due to their bulk, some can find it difficult to consume 100 grams of raw, leafy greens. In this case, it’s best to consume them cooked.

Other iron-rich veggies that fit in this category include broccoli and Brussels sprouts, which contain between 1 and 1.8 mg per cooked cup, or around 6–10% of the DV

7. Tomato paste

At 0.5 mg per cup, raw tomatoes contain very little iron. However, when dried or concentrated, they offer a much greater amount

For instance, 1/4 cup (66 grams) of tomato paste offers 2 mg of iron, or 11% of the DV, whereas 1 cup (245 grams) of canned tomato sauce offers 2.4 mg, or 13% of the DV

Sun-dried tomatoes are another iron-rich source, providing you with 2.5 mg per half cup, or 14% of the DV

Tomatoes are also a great source of vitamin C, which may help increase iron absorption. Moreover, they’re a great source of lycopene, an antioxidant linked to a reduced risk of sunburn

8. Potatoes

Potatoes contain good amounts of iron, mostly concentrated in their skins.

More specifically, a large unpeeled potato (299 grams) provides 1.9 mg of iron, which is 11% of the DV. But even without their skins, sweet potatoes contain slightly more — around 2.2 mg for the same quantity, or 12% of the DV

Potatoes are also a great source of fiber. Additionally, one portion can cover up to 42% of your daily vitamin C, B6 and potassium requirements

9. Mushrooms

Certain varieties of mushrooms are particularly rich in iron.

For instance, one cooked cup (156 grams) of white mushrooms contains around 2.7 mg, or 15% of the DV

One cup (86 grams) of uncooked oyster mushrooms contains 7% of the DV, whereas portobello and shiitake mushrooms contain very little

10. Palm hearts

Palm hearts are a tropical vegetable rich in fiber, potassium, manganese, vitamin C and folate.

A lesser-known fact about palm hearts is that they also contain a fair amount of iron — an impressive 4.6 mg per cup, or 26% of the DV

This versatile vegetable can be blended into dips, tossed on the grill, incorporated into a stir-fry, added to salads and even baked with your favorite toppings.

SUMMARY:

Vegetables often contain significant amounts of iron. Their generally large volume-to-weight ratio explains why eating them cooked may make it easier to meet your daily requirements.

How to Add Foods That Are High in Iron to Your Diet

woman snacking on raisins and nuts

Are you getting enough iron daily? The chances are that most of us probably aren’t. Our bodies need iron to grow and develop. Iron can also help prevent anemia and protect your body from infection. If you haven’t been chowing down on iron-rich foods, we’re going to give you some easy ways to incorporate this nutritional powerhouse into your diet. 

Foods that are high in iron by type

To get a better idea of how you can work more iron into your diet, here is a handy list of iron-rich foods.

Iron-rich legumes
  • Dried or canned peas and beans (kidney, garbanzo, cannellini, soybeans, etc.).
  • Lentils.
  • Peas.
  • Tofu.
  • Tempeh (fermented soybeans).
Iron-rich bread and cereal
  • Enriched white bread.
  • Enriched pasta.
  • Wheat products.
  • Bran cereals.
  • Cornmeal.
  • Oat cereals.
  • Cream of Wheat.
  • Rye bread.
  • Enriched rice.
  • Whole wheat bread.
Iron-rich fruit
  • Figs.
  • Dates.
  • Raisins.
  • Prunes and prune juice.
Iron-rich protein sources
  • Beef.
  • Chicken.
  • Clams.
  • Eggs.
  • Lamb.
  • Ham.
  • Turkey.
  • Veal.
  • Pork.
  • Liver.
  • Shrimp.
  • Tuna.
  • Sardines.
  • Haddock.
  • Mackerel.
  • Oysters.
  • Scallops.
Iron-rich vegetables
  • Broccoli.
  • String beans.
  • Dark leafy greens – Dandelion, collard, kale, spinach.
  • Potatoes.
  • Cabbage, Brussels sprouts.
  • Tomato paste and other products.
Other foods that are high in iron
  • Blackstrap molasses.
  • Pistachios.
  • Pumpkin seeds.
  • Sesame seeds.
  • Flax seeds.
  • Almonds.
  • Cashews.
  • Pine nuts.
  • Macadamia nuts.
  • Hemp seeds.

Why you need iron in your diet

“Iron is a vital component of hemoglobin, which makes it an important mineral that our bodies need in order to carry oxygen so that our cells can produce energy,” says registered dietitian Julia Zumpano, RD, LD. “If we don’t have enough iron, we will not have enough red blood cells to transport oxygen. This leads to extreme fatigue and lightheadedness,” Zumpano adds.

Iron is also essential for brain development and growth, and the production of many other cells and hormones in the body.

“Without adequate iron stores, individuals can develop a condition called iron-deficiency anemia — the most common nutritional deficiency worldwide. It’s associated with symptoms like fatigue, weakness, trouble maintaining body heat, pale skin, dizziness, headache, and an inflamed tongue,” says Zumpano.

How much iron do adults need daily?

According to Zumpano, the daily recommended amount of iron for adults ages 19-50 is:

  • 18 milligrams a day for women.
  • 27 milligrams a day for pregnant women.
  • 9 milligrams a day for lactating women.
  • 8 milligrams a day for men.

In general, women tend to need more iron to make up for what is lost during menstrual cycles. Women who are 51 and older should aim for 8 milligrams of iron daily.

How much iron do kids need?

For children, the recommended amount of iron can vary based on age.

Birth to 6
months
0.27 milligrams
7-12 months11 milligrams
1-3 years7 milligrams
4-8 years10 milligrams
9-13 years8 milligrams
14-18 years11 milligrams for males
15 milligrams for females

While these are general guidelines, Zumpano recommends that you get a proper diagnosis and a personalized recommendation from your doctor.

Types of iron

There are two main types of iron — heme and non-heme iron.

Zumpano explains.

Heme iron

“Heme is better absorbed by the body and is commonly found in liver, meat, poultry and seafood.”

Non-heme iron

“Non-heme iron is commonly found in legumes (beans), nuts, seeds, and certain vegetables like spinach and potatoes.”

You can also get iron through fortified sources such as tofu, grains, bread and cereal.

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