Think you may be iron deficient, or looking for some iron rich foods? Below are some super simple iron rich foods to add into your diet, as well as some extra information about iron deficiency.
An estimated 2 billion people in the world are iron deficient, which is over a quarter of the world’s entire population!
Iron is such an important mineral in the body. Its most crucial role is to carry oxygen throughout the body and create red blood cells.
Common signs of iron deficiency:
- Pale Skin.
- Shortness of breath.
Who has the highest risk:
- Women, especially during menstruation.
- Infants & Children.
The most common source of iron is meat, and because the vegan or vegetarian diet doesn’t include meat, they are at the highest risk of iron deficiency.
There are heaps of great irons sources out there, here are 10 iron rich foods that are easy to incorporate into your diet. Some are meat, with the majority being plant-based.
1. Cooked Spinach
Spinach is a great food to eat because of its high nutritional value, low calories, and high amount of iron.
1 Cup of cooked spinach contains 36% of the iron RDI (reference daily intake).
Spinach also contains high amounts of Vit C, which helps the body absorb iron better.
So the next time you’re cooking up breakfast or dinner, add a cup of spinach with some olive oil to the frying pan for some extra iron in your diet.
2. Red Meat
Red meat is not such a good iron source in a vegan or vegetarian diet. However, it is a big source of iron for those who do eat meat.
100g (3.5 ounces) of ground beef contains 15% of the iron RDI (reference daily intake).
This is one of the two types of meat included in these 10 iron rich foods.
3. Dark Chocolate
I knew you would like this one… So do I.
Good quality dark chocolate is not only a delicious snack but also has many health benefits.
One of those health benefits being it’s high in iron. It’s great for when you’re feeling like a tasty snack that will up your iron intake.
56g (2 ounces) of dark chocolate contains 26% of the iron RDI (reference daily intake).
Endangered Species Chocolate is a great place to get your dark chocolate fix. It is fair trade, non-GMO, gluten-free, vegan, and kosher certified.
#4 on the list of iron rich foods is kale. Like spinach, kale is a dark leafy green vegetable that is low in calories but rich in nutrients.
1 Cup of kale contains 6.5% of the iron RDI (reference daily intake).
The problem is that not many people like kale, but there are heaps of ways you can add it into your diet without even tasting it.
Kale can be eaten as ‘Kale chips’, in soups, or my personal favorite, in a juice.
Try out the Green Breakfast Booster Juice.
5. Kidney Beans
Kidney beans are a legume that is made up of mostly carbohydrates, they are rich in iron and other nutrients.
1 Cup of kidney beans contains 22% of the iron RDI (reference daily intake).
Kidney beans are an excellent plant-based source of iron, protein, and carbohydrates which can be easily added into your diet. A common dish using kidney beans is chili con carne.
Turkey is the second meat in this list of iron rich foods. It’s white meat that has many health benefits, including being a good source of iron.
113g (3.98 ounces) of turkey contains 6.9% of the iron RDI (reference daily intake).
The darker the turkey meat, the more iron it contains, which would normally be the thigh meat.
Turkey is also a very high source of protein, as well as other vitamins and minerals that have great health benefits.
Broccoli is a very nutritious and versatile vegetable. It has high amounts of Vit C which help the body to absorb iron better.
1 cup of broccoli contains 3.7% of the iron RDI (reference daily intake).
The amount of Vit C that 1 Cup of broccoli contains is 135% of the RDI. This is a massive amount! Next time you have a cold or flu, try adding some broccoli into your daily intake.
I started eating olives before I even had teeth, so you can imagine I love the taste of olives! They are a great source of iron and mostly made up of good fats.
10 olives contain 7% of the iron RDI (reference daily intake).
If you can get your hands on the chili and garlic flavor, it’ll blow your mind.
Olives have a very potent taste that not a huge amount of people enjoy, so if you’re not a fan, don’t force yourself to eat them.
Tofu is a soy food that’s mostly consumed by vegetarians and more popular in Asian countries.
136g (4.7 ounces) of tofu contains 15% of the iron RDI (reference daily intake).
Tofu is an iron rich food, and also is full of other nutrients such as calcium, thiamine, and magnesium.
As well as the great health benefits of tofu, it also contains high amounts of protein per serve.
10. Pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds are by far the easiest iron rich food to snack, just put a bag at available reach and you’ll be chomping them down in no time.
1 Cup of pumpkin seeds contains 12% of the iron RDI (reference daily intake).
Be careful with pumpkin seeds. However, per cup they contain 285 calories, and it can add up quickly.
You can get your hands on Gerbs Premium Raw Pumpkin Seed Kernels here.
Leave a comment if you enjoyed How To Know If You’re Iron Deficient + 10 Iron Rich Foods, or if you have any questions.