Iron is a mineral needed by our bodies. Iron is a part of all cells and does many things in our bodies. For example, iron (as part of the protein hemoglobin) carries oxygen from our lungs throughout our bodies. Thus below are 10 foods packed with high iron to fulfill your iron deficiency:
Shellfish is tasty and nutritious. All shellfish is high in iron, but clams, oysters and mussels are particularly good sources.
For instance, a 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of clams may contain up to 28 mg of iron, which is 155% of the RDI.
However, the iron content of clams is highly variable, and some types may contain much lower amounts..
The iron in shellfish is heme iron, which your body absorbs more easily than the non-heme iron found in plants.
A serving of clams also provides 26 grams of proteins, 37% of the RDI for vitamin C and a whopping 1,648% of the RDI for vitamin B12.
In fact, all shellfish is high in nutrients. Shellfish has also been shown to increase the level of heart-healthy HDL cholesterol in your blood.
Although there are legitimate concerns about mercury and toxins in certain types of fish and shellfish, the benefits of consuming seafood far outweigh the risks..
Bottom Line: A 100-gram serving of clams provides 155% of the RDI for iron. Shellfish is also rich many other nutrients.
Spinach provides many health benefits for very few calories.
3.5 ounces (100 grams) of cooked spinach contain 3.6 mg of iron, or 20% of the RDI.
Although this is non-heme iron, which isn’t absorbed very well, spinach is also rich in vitamin C.
This is important, since vitamin C significantly boosts iron absorption.
Spinach is also rich in antioxidants called carotenoids that may reduce the risk of cancer, decrease inflammation and protect your eyes from disease.
Consuming spinach and other leafy greens with fat helps your body absorb the carotenoids, so make sure to eat a healthy fat like olive oil with your spinach.
- 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 1–1.6 mg of iron per ounce, or around 6–9% of the RDI.
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.
Certain varieties of mushrooms are particularly rich in iron.
For instance, one cooked cup of white mushrooms contains around 2.7 mg, or 15% of the RDI.
Oyster mushrooms may offer up to twice as much iron, whereas portobello and shiitake mushrooms contain very little.
Lentils are legumes that have a really impressive amount of non-heme iron per serving. Aside from their high supply of nutrients, what’s another benefit of including protein-packed lentils in your diet regularly? They’re really cheap and very versatile.
- Dark Chocolate
When you buy high-quality dark chocolate, you not only satisfy your sweet tooth — you also give your body a significant dose of iron. All you need is one ounce to fulfill almost 20 percent of your daily iron requirements. Now that’s one healthy dessert option!
Spirulina, one of nature’s great superfoods, is a blue-green algae that grows in fresh water lakes. It is a complete protein, contains a significant amount of B12, as well as vitamins A through E and is rich in iron, calcium and magnesium. A tablespoon of dried spirulina contains 2 mg of iron. Try this Coconut Spirulina Energy Drink or simply throw it into the blender with your regular morning smoothie.
Tofu proves its worth once again, with 2.15 mg of iron for a quarter-block serving. From silken tofu to extra firm, the possibilities to include it in your diet are nearly endless. Just make sure your are purchasing tofu made with non-GMO soybeans.
- . Fortified Breakfast Cereals
Breakfast cereals are often a main source of iron, but you have to choose the right types.
Sugar-laden cereals you might have eaten as a kid aren’t the best choice.
The key is to look for a fortified cereal that contains 100 percent of your daily value of iron.
A one-cup serving of cereal contains 18mg of iron.
- Cooked Oysters
Next time you go to your favorite seafood restaurant, consider ordering some oysters.
A three-ounce serving contains 1.02mg of iron
Raw oysters are also packed with nutrients, but cooked oysters are safer.