Healthy Foods That Are High in Iron
What is iron?
Iron is a mineral that plays lots of different roles in the body, from maintaining a healthy immune system to transporting oxygen around the body.
If you’re not getting enough foods high in iron, you might feel tired and low in energy.
How much iron do I need?
Women aged 19-50 should aim to get 14.8mg of iron a day from foods high in iron – more if they’re pregnant. Dr Carrie explained, “Women have higher requirements than men as we lose some iron each month as a consequence of the menstrual cycle.” Adult men and women over 50 need 8.7mg a day. It’s also important for kids to get enough iron as they grow. Young infants need 1.7mg a day, while adolescents need between 11.3mg a day (for boys) and 14.8mg a day (for girls).
How much iron is there in foods?
Don’t worry – it’s easy to meet your target if you include enough foods high in iron in your daily diet. Just make sure you throw some of these iron-rich foods into your trolley on your next weekly shop. Many of us typically associate red meat as a food high in iron, however there’s plenty of options for veggies and vegans as well.
Red meat is satisfying and nutritious. A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of ground beef contains 2.7 mg of iron, which is 15% of the DV ( 23 ). Meat is also rich in protein, zinc, selenium, and several B vitamins ( 24 ).
Iron is a mineral that serves several important functions, its main one being to carry oxygen throughout your body as a part of red blood cells.
It’s an essential nutrient, meaning you must get it from food. The Daily Value (DV) is 18 mg.
Interestingly, the amount of iron your body absorbs is partly based on how much you have stored.
A deficiency can occur if your intake is too low to replace the amount you lose every day .
Iron deficiency can cause anemia and lead to symptoms like fatigue. Menstruating women who don’t consume iron-rich foods are at a particularly high risk of deficiency.
Luckily, there are plenty of good food choices to help you meet your daily
Meat That Contains High Iron
Getting enough iron is crucial to your overall health, since it’s involved in oxygen transport, energy production and more. And if you’re looking for dietary sources of iron, meat is a good start. Not only are many meats great sources of this mineral, but they tend to contain a form of iron easily absorbed by your body. Read on to learn more.
Heme and Nonheme Iron
Eating meat is a good way to increase your iron intake, as it contains heme iron, the type of iron that is more easily absorbed by your body. Plant-based iron sources contain non-heme iron, which is absorbed two to three times less efficiently than heme iron. Foods that are a good source of iron contain at least 10 percent of the daily value for iron, and for a food to be high in iron it should contain at least 20 percent of the DV.
Organ meats provide significant amounts of iron. Along with clams and oysters, they are one of the few animal-based foods that are high in iron. A 3-ounce serving of pan-fried chicken liver contains 11 milligrams of iron, or 61 percent of the DV, and the same-sized serving of pan-fried beef liver contains 5.2 milligrams of iron, or 29 percent of the DV.
Another meat that can contain high levels of iron is beef, with each 3-ounce serving containing between 10 and 24 percent of the daily value for iron, depending on the cut and preparation. For example, a 3-ounce patty of broiled 85-percent-lean ground beef contains 2.2 milligrams of iron, or 12 percent of the DV, making it a good source of iron.
Poultry can also be a good source of iron, especially if you choose dark meat instead of light meat. A 3-ounce serving of roasted dark meat turkey contains 2 milligrams of iron, or 11 percent of the DV, compared to only 1.1 milligrams, or 6 percent of the DV, found in light-meat turkey. A serving of duck meat contains 2.3 milligrams of iron, and a serving of roasted dark meat chicken contains 1.1 milligrams of iron.
Lamb and Seafood
Lamb provides a similar amount of iron to beef, with a 3-ounce serving of cooked lamb shoulder containing 2.3 milligrams, or 13 percent of the DV. Seafood can also be high in iron, providing up to 40 percent of the DV. A 3-ounce serving of canned oysters provides 32 percent of the DV, and the same-sized serving of light tuna canned in water provides 7 percent of the DV.