Iron is one of the most important micronutrients for the human body. It’s essential for transferring oxygen from your blood into your organs.
A lot of people are not familiar with the importance of iron as a micronutrient, and may have problems getting their healthy dose. Today, we are going to discuss some of the most common iron-rich foods. You’ll learn what you can eat if you want to increase your iron intake.
Before we start listing iron-rich foods, we should mention that they are two types of iron:
● Heme iron which you can find in different types of meat. Your body absorbs this easily.
● Non-heme iron which you can find in plant-based foods. Your body doesn’t absorb this as easily.
Now that you know the difference between the two types of iron, let’s take a look at the top 10 foods that are rich in iron.
Top 10 Iron-Rich Foods
1. Red Meat
Red meat may receive a lot of bad press at times, but it’s still one of the most nutritious foods you can eat. It’s rich not only in iron but in protein, selenium, zinc and tons of B vitamins.
Red meat is one of the most accessible iron-rich foods in the world. It’s a great source of heme iron for people who want to increase their iron intake.
If you’re looking for an easy way to eat more healthy and nutritious food, consuming more red meat is ideal.
Fish is a highly nutritious food that has tons of vitamins and minerals in it like iron. It also has omega-3 which supports the health of your brain, boosts your immune system.
Fish like canned tuna contains vital nutrients like vitamin B12, niacin and selenium, just to name a few. It also has tons of protein which makes it the perfect food for people who try to lose some weight.
If you want to increase your intake of iron, adding fish to your diet is an excellent way to start.
The first plant-based food on the list is spinach. It’s a great source of iron, and it’s not very calorically dense.
The iron in spinach is non-heme, which won’t be easily absorbed by your body. However, spinach has a lot of vitamin C, which increases iron absorption.
Also, spinach has tons of antioxidants which makes it an excellent food to add to your diet whether or not you want to increase your iron intake.
Shellfish is another animal-based food that is incredibly rich in iron. Shellfish such as clams, oysters, and mussels are great sources of iron in particular. Shellfish, similarly to red meat is rich in heme iron, which is more easily absorbed by your body.
As well as that, shellfish has high amounts of protein, vitamin C and B12. Also, consuming more shellfish will increase your level of healthy HDL cholesterol in your blood.
While there are certain toxins in some types of shellfish, increasing your consumption will support your health.
5. Organ Meats
Organ meats like liver, kidneys, brain and heart are incredibly nutritious. They contain tons of protein, and micronutrients like iron, B vitamins, selenium and copper.
The liver is also high in vitamin A which makes it incredibly healthy for your diet. Organ meats are a source of heme iron which your body can easily absorb.
They are an excellent source of micronutrients, so if you want to increase your iron intake, you can start eating more of these meats.
If you have a problem with gluten but still want to increase your iron intake, eating quinoa can help you. It’s an excellent source of protein as well as iron, magnesium and copper.
Also, quinoa has tons of antioxidants which helps protect your cells and boost your metabolism. Adding foods such as quinoa to your diet will increase your intake of iron as well as other important micronutrients.
Legumes such as beans, peas, lentils, soybeans and chickpeas have tons of nutrients in them. They are an excellent source of iron, especially for vegans and vegetarians who avoid eating meat.
Not only that, they also have huge amounts of folate, potassium and magnesium which support your health. Another great thing about legumes is that they are high in fiber.
However, legumes are a source of non-heme iron, so it would be best to eat them with foods that are high in vitamin C like tomatoes.
Turkey is a great source of iron for people who love to eat meat. It has a lot of protein as well, which can boost your metabolism. If you want to increase your iron intake, you should go with dark turkey because it has more iron in it.
Turkey also contains several B vitamins, zinc and selenium as well as minerals. Eating more turkey will not only increase your iron intake but also support weight loss. It has tons of protein in it, which will make you full after a meal.
If you want to be healthier, eating more turkey is one of the ways you can do that.
Broccoli is one of the best plant-based foods you can eat. It’s rich not only in iron but in vitamin C as well, which boosts the absorption of iron. Broccoli also has a lot of fiber, making it a perfect food for people who want to lose weight because it makes them feel full.
Broccoli is also an excellent source of vitamin K, so if you want to eat healthier, adding broccoli to your diet is a great start.
10. Dark Chocolate
Typically, eating chocolate is considered unhealthy, but dark chocolate is incredibly beneficial for your body. It’s full of micronutrients like iron, copper and magnesium.
Dark chocolate also has tons of antioxidants which may help you boost your metabolism as well as keeping you healthy.
However, to get the benefits of eating dark chocolate, you need to consume chocolate with a minimum of 70% cocoa.
To summarize, here are the top 10 iron-rich foods:
- Red meat
- Organ meats
- Dark chocolate
Adding just one of these foods into your diet will increase your daily iron intake. However, if for any reason you are unable to meet your daily iron requirement from food alone, you can try our iron supplement Active Iron. It works in tune with your body, so you can absorb it easily without upsetting your stomach.
Iron for Vegetarians: Plant-Based Iron Sources to Maintain Iron Intake