21 Iron Rich Foods + Signs to Know if You’re Deficient

iron rich foodsAre you searching for some iron-rich food and wondering are you iron deficient or not? Then let me tell you according to a survey every 7th person out of 10 is noted to have iron deficiency, and that is more prevalent in women.

This is quite serious as most of pregnant and lactating mothers are found to be iron deficient due to which they die at the spot of giving birth or end up with miscarriages.

What are the common signs of iron deficiency?

You cannot even think how serious iron deficiency can be for you. Here are some of the main symptoms of iron-deficiency that can help you to get an idea that you are iron deficient or not:

  • Pale Skin
  • Hair loss
  • Extreme fatigue and tiredness even without doing any work
  • Restless leg syndrome (you want to bounce or move them)

Who mostly suffers from iron deficiency?

As I said researches shows that women especially the pregnant and lactating one are more likely to suffer from iron deficiency anemia while vegetarians are also at a great risk because most of the non-vegetarian foods like eggs, meat, sea food have high levels of iron.

If you are vegetarian, then you should especially note down to include below-given iron rich foods in your daily diet. We have decided to make a list of full proof plant based iron rich sources so that our vegetarian friends can have it without any hesitation.

Get all 21 Foods List as a PDF!

It is often easier and more convenient to simply save a list on your smartphone or tablet. So you always have it ready and of course you can also print it out. Grab it before you go:

Here’s the list of 21 Iron-Rich Foods:

1. Cooked Spinach

Spinach reminds me of the Popeye the sailor man, who always asked us to have spinach in our daily routine. You will be amazed to know if you did so, you won’t be facing low hemoglobin levels in your blood!

Spinach has all the essential nutrients including vitamins, minerals and iron. I have mentioned cooked spinach because cooking increases the availability of iron in our body. Including 1 cup of cooked spinach in your breakfast or lunch can possibly complete 36% of your daily iron requirement.

2. Sesame seeds

Sesame seeds are also very good source of iron as well as copper. It contains sesamin and sesamolin that are best for heart patients to control cholesterol levels.

  • ¼ cup of sesame seeds can fulfill 29% of your daily iron requirement.

You can roast them and store them in container and just sprinkle them over your veges, wraps, sandwiches to have your daily source of iron in your normal meals.

3. Black Beans

For me black beans are one of the healthiest foods available on our planet. They have all the nutrients that our body needs.

  • ½ cup of black beans can provide you ample amount of protein, energy, vitamins, minerals and can fulfill your 44% of daily iron requirement.

Avoid getting canned beans and roast them to grab them as snacks or make salads to have them in your meals.

4. Garbanzo beans

If you are a bean fan, not Mr. Bean! You can surely combat your iron deficiency within few days. Garbanzo beans also called chickpeas are known to be great source of iron as 8 oz of garbanzo beans can fulfill your –

  • 26% of the recommended daily requirement of iron.

5. Kidney Beans

The kidney beans also called red beans are a very good source of iron, fiber, fat-free protein, folate, copper and manganese.

  • 1 cup of these super beneficial beans can provide you 22% of daily iron. 

6. Lima Beans

Being an excellent source of fiber, molybdenum, copper, and manganese, lima beans are no doubt a boon beans for vegetarians. Make sure to sash them properly, and pre-soak them before cooking, to reduce the oligosaccharides content in them.

  • 1 cup of these boon beans can provide you 25% of daily iron in your diet.

7. Dark Chocolate

You will be glad to know that your high-quality dark chocolate that contains 85% cocoa is a very good source of iron. So, next time whenever you want to have sugar cravings, grab 1 bar of dark chocolate that can fulfill 72% of your daily iron requirement.

8. Kale

Kale being rich in iron is an ideal food for the people who are trying to lose some pounds. If you think it’s boring, then I am sure you haven’t tried it in form of Kale Chips or Kale soup.

Other than that you can make it a part of your daily smoothies as 1 cup of kale can fulfill your 8% of daily iron requirement.

9. Sun-dried Tomatoes

Have you ever thought getting nutrition can be tasty? No? Then you would be amazed to know that extremely delicious sun-dried tomatoes are a brilliant source of iron and the red pigment lycopene.

Having one cup of dried tomatoes in your snacks can provide you 27% of daily iron.

10. Sunflower-seeds

These seeds are a trend setter because of their great nutritive value. They are rich in Vit E and other mineral including iron. They also work great to suppress appetite so that you can lose weight without feeling hungry all the time.

Try to roast them at home to avoid large amounts of sodium and oils present in seeds available in the market. Grab a fist of seeds and you can fulfill about 47% of your daily iron requirement.

11. Lentils

You might have known that lentils are a very good source protein and amino acids for the vegetarian people. But did you know that it is rich in iron too?

If you tend to avoid beans because of your high uric acid or difficulty in cooking you can try lentils to fulfill your iron requirement.

  • 1 cup of lentils provides you 37% of the recommended daily value in iron.

12. Swiss Chard

Do you know that this beautiful leafy vegetable has ample amount of antioxidants that comes from the multi-pigmented stems. Chard being high in iron is also a good source of Vitamin K, providing 636% of daily requirement of Vit K in just one serving.

  • 1 cup of Swiss chard can fulfill your 22% of daily iron intake requirement.

13. Potatoes

All time favorite potatoes provides good amount of energy, potassium and fiber to body. Ideal for hypertension patients potatoes are the most inexpensive food item to combat your iron deficiency.

  • 1 medium sized potato can provide you 18% of daily iron in your body.

14. Prune

Prunes are a good source of Vitamin C and iron. Vitamin C is an iron carrier that makes it available to the body.

So having both of these nutrients in a same product, enhance the availability of iron making it readily absorbed by our body.

  • 1 cup of prunes can provide you 17% of daily iron.

15. Olives

Bitter is better! Though being the most bitter fruit, olives provides you great amount of iron as 1 cup of olives can surely fulfill your 25% of daily iron requirement.

Get them in your daily sandwiches, pastas, pizzas, meals to gain most of the nutrients from it.

16. Black Eyed Peas

High in iron content black peas are good source of magnesium and Vitamin A. You can add them in your salads, make soups of them or can grab them boiled for your snacks.

  • 1 cup of black eyed peas can provide you about 24% of daily iron requirement.

17. Peas

Slightly sweet in taste, peas are one of my favorite evening snacks. You can stew them, freeze them or even eat them raw to complete your daily iron requirement.

  • 1 cup of these slightly sweet vegetable can provide you 17% of daily iron.

18. Pumpkin Seeds

Organic pumpkin seeds are high in iron and are just amazing in taste. They are a great healthy snack item that you can grab anywhere and have anytime for those small hunger pangs.

  • Roast them, store them or add them in your daily meals as one handful of this nutty snack can give you 5% of daily elemental iron.

19. Brown rice

Brown rice has complex carbs that keep you going throughout the day. You can have it with gravies, soups or even alone.

It does not contains too much of iron but you can enhance it by having it with kidney beans or adding some great iron sources like spinach, peas or beans to make it high in iron content.

  • 1 cup of your brown rice can provide you 5% of daily iron doze.

20. Strawberries

Another delicious food item that can help you to increase iron in the body are strawberries. Get some freshly picked strawberries from supermarket or nearby store to have them in breakfast or to add them in smoothies to get a perfect blend of antioxidants and iron.

  • 1 cup of freshly picked strawberries can provide you 5% of the recommended daily iron value in your diet.

21. Collard Greens:

Collard green being a rich source of Vitamins and minerals can do wonders to treat iron deficiency anemia. Try to pick up some dark green leaves as they are higher in iron content as compared to light green ones.

  • 1 cup of collard greens can provide 2% of the recommended daily value in iron.

Get all 21 Foods List as a PDF!

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Important Tip

Make mixtures of all these ingredients to have iron rich meals or try to add atleast two of these foods in a single meal to get the best results and fight your iron deficiency within very less time. Leave a comment below and let me know how helpful this article was for you.

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