Top 50 Iron-Rich Foods: Boost Your Energy and Overcome Low Iron Symptoms

Increasing your intake of iron-rich foods shouldn’t be too difficult. All you need is for you to know which of the foods you eat are rich in iron and start planning your meals accordingly. Unfortunately, most people’s scope of knowledge when it comes to iron and iron-rich foods is too limited.

For a quick read on where to start, you can read our Foods with a Hint of Iron article, but here we’ll give you a much more detailed overview of the best iron-rich foods complete with their iron content.

Data was extracted from the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference version September 22, 2009, which contains all nutritional data for more than 7,000 foods. Unfortunately, you can’t just download the database and quickly sort the iron content to bring you the best iron-rich foods. Actually, you can, but the problem is that the list you get won’t be very useful in your daily life, since the main items would be things like freeze-dried parsley, dried thyme, beluga meat, cumin seeds, and all sorts of other foods. he wouldn’t eat in large enough quantities to help him load iron.

We’ve done the hard work for you and carefully combed through the USDA database and compiled this list of the top 50 iron-rich foods and listed them by category so you know when you eat meat, what meat to choose, when you buy vegetables , what to put in your shopping cart and when you need a quick snack, which can help you increase your iron intake in just a few minutes.

This list is not a complete list of the iron content of all possible foods; if you don’t see it here, it means it’s not particularly high in iron.

Eat these iron-rich foods, combine them with iron absorption enhancers, avoid iron absorption inhibitors, and you’ll be well on your way to boosting your iron levels and getting rid of those low iron symptoms!

breakfast cereals

Fortified breakfast cereal is one of your best bets for increasing your iron intake, and here’s a short list of some of them. As you can see, eating just one serving of these will give you about 18 mg of iron, but keep in mind that the typical absorption rate for a healthy adult is only about 10% to 15% of dietary iron. So drink a glass of orange juice with your cereal to increase its absorption. Also, keep in mind that the last two garments of the latter are dry, that is, before having added milk or water to them!

  • Ralston Enriched Bran Flakes: 27 mg/cup
  • Kellogg’s Whole Oat Bran Flakes: 25 mg/cup
  • General Mills Multigrain Cheerios: 24 mg/cup
  • Kellogg’s All-Bran Whole Wheat Flakes: 24 mg/cup
  • Malt-O-Meal, plain, dry: 92 mg/cup
  • Cream of wheat, instant, dry: 51 mg/cup


Red meat is high in iron and comes in the heme form which is more easily absorbed by your body; Typically, the body absorbs 15% to 35% of heme iron. Organ meats are the best sources of iron within the meat category, and of these, liver is probably the most popular, which is why we’ve included it in the list, as we don’t know many people who eat spleen or lungs, We have excluded them. organ classes. If you like liver go for goose liver expensive but very good! or at least opt ​​for pork liver instead of beef liver. When opting for red meat in your diet, add some less standard options like emu, ostrich, or duck instead of beef.

  • Goose liver, raw: 31mg/100g
  • Pork liver, cooked: 18mg/100g
  • Chicken liver, cooked: 13mg/100g
  • Lamb liver, cooked: 10mg / 100g
  • Beef liver, cooked: 7mg/100g
  • Emu, cooked: 7mg/100g
  • Ostrich oyster, cooked: 5mg/100g
  • Quail meat, raw: 5mg/100g
  • Duck breast, raw: 5mg/100g
  • Beef, steak, cooked: 4mg/100g
  • Beef, ground, cooked: 3 mg/100g

fish and shellfish

Fish is often not considered a good source of iron and most fish are not, only fatty fish like mackerel and sardines provide you with a decent amount of iron. So when you want to eat fish, go for oily fish, which gives you the most iron and is also high in omega-3s. When you add seafood to the equation, suddenly we find some of the best iron-rich foods you can find, especially clams—think clam chowder. A quick comparison with the meat category shows that octopus or cuttlefish outperform all regular meats in terms of iron content and are second only to liver. So, it’s time to add some sautéed calamari to your weekly menu.

  • Clams, canned, drained solids: 28 mg/100 g
  • Clams, cooked: 28mg/100g
  • Fish caviar, black and red: 12mg/100g
  • Cooked cuttlefish: 11mg / 100g
  • Cooked octopus: 10mg / 100g
  • Oyster, medium size, cooked: 10mg/100g
  • Anchovy, canned in oil: 5mg/100g
  • Shrimp, cooked: 3mg/100g
  • Sardine, canned in oil: 3mg/100g
  • Mackerel, cooked: 2mg / 100g


Vegetables are an essential part of your diet, packed with essential nutrients and most people don’t eat enough of them, but when it comes to iron, most vegetables aren’t too spicy. If you choose your vegetables carefully, you can use vegetables to help boost your iron levels, especially if you include some iron absorption enhancers in your diet, since the non-heme iron in vegetables is not easily absorbed by the body. Vegetables in the Top 50 Iron-Rich Foods include various beans, potato skins, tomatoes, and leafy greens such as spinach, Swiss chard, and parsley. Chili con carne, which combines meat, kidney beans and tomato sauce, is a great iron-rich recipe, but so is a white bean salad with lots of fresh parsley and a light vinaigrette.

  • Mushrooms, morel, raw: 12 mg/cup
  • Tomatoes, sun-dried: 5 mg/cup
  • Potato skins, baked: 4 mg/skin
  • Parsley, raw: 4 mg/cup
  • Boiled soybeans: 9 mg/cup
  • Spinach, boiled, drained: 6 mg/cup
  • Tomato sauce, canned: 9 mg/cup
  • Lentils, boiled: 7 mg/cup
  • Hearts of palm, canned: 5 mg/cup
  • Navy beans, canned: 8 mg/cup
  • Beans, boiled: 5 mg/cup
  • Boiled chickpeas: 5 mg/cup
  • Pinto beans, frozen, boiled: 3 mg/cup
  • Broad beans, boiled: 4 mg/cup
  • Hummus, commercial: 6mg/cup
  • Chard, boiled, minced: 4 mg/cup
  • Asparagus, canned: 4 mg/cup
  • Chickpeas, canned: 3 mg/cup
  • Tomatoes, canned: 3 mg/cup
  • Sweet potato, canned, pureed: 3 mg/cup
  • Chicory, raw: 4 mg/head

Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds are great iron-rich foods because they have a fairly high iron content and are so versatile that they can be eaten in many ways. A quick snack with some cashews is filling, healthy, and provides plenty of iron—tasty, too! Pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds can easily be toasted and added to a salad for a nice crunch and iron boost. Sesame seeds are used in a variety of Asian dishes and all of these can be used in baking or as a quick addition to your breakfast cereal. Just make sure you always have some around the house and you’ll soon find plenty of ways to add them to your daily meal.

  • Sesame seeds, whole, dry: 21 mg/cup
  • Pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seeds, dry: 11 mg/cup
  • Sunflower seeds, roasted: 9 mg/cup
  • Cashews, dry-roasted, halves and whole: 8 mg/cup
  • Pistachios, dry roasted: 5 mg/cup
  • Almonds, whole kernels, blanched: 5 mg/cup


Fresh fruit is not rich in iron, but dried fruits such as apricots, peaches, or prunes are great iron-rich snacks to eat between meals or to add to various recipes. The one thing to remember about fresh fruit is that most contain a lot of vitamin C, and since the vitamin is an enhancer of iron absorption, eating fresh fruit or vegetables high in vitamin C with your meal can increase your iron intake. greatly the amount of iron in your body. absorb.

  • Apricots, low-moisture dried: 8 mg/cup
  • Peaches, dehydrated with low moisture: 6 mg/cup
  • Low-moisture dried plums: 5 mg/cup
  • Canned jumbo olives: 0.3 mg/olive
  • Dried currants: 5 mg/cup
  • Apricots, dried, sulfurized, raw: 4 mg/cup
  • Blueberries, canned: 7 mg/cup

Iron-rich snacks

Aside from nuts and dried fruit, there are quick and easy iron-rich snacks you can buy at the grocery store and use as an instant iron booster. Below or some examples, but if you plan to buy some bars or drinks, you should remember to check the nutrition facts labels of the actual products you buy, as the actual iron content can vary greatly from brand to brand and even from product to product. to another. product within the same brand.

  • Nestlé Supligen, canned supplement drink 9 mg/can
  • Snickers Marathon Honey Nut Oat Bar: 8 mg/bar
  • Snickers Marathon Double Chocolate Nut Bar 8mg/bar
  • Snickers Marathon Multigrain Crunch Bar: 8 mg/bar
  • Pretzels, soft: 6 mg/large
  • Trail mix, regular: 3 mg/cup


Dairy products are not high in iron, but they do contain a lot of calcium, and calcium is known to act as an inhibitor of iron absorption, so you should try to eat calcium-rich foods separately from iron-rich foods. as much as possible. Eggs aren’t too high in iron, but egg yolks aren’t too bad and if you can find fresh goose eggs, they could be used in a great iron-rich breakfast!

  • Goose egg, whole: 5 mg/egg
  • Egg yolk, raw: 7 mg iron/cup
  • Egg, scrambled: 3 mg iron/cup

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