Iron is essential for the production of hemoglobin, a protein that allows red blood cells to carry oxygen to every part of your body. It’s also a component of myoglobin — that’s similar to hemoglobin. It’s found in your muscle cells. The average adult male needs about 8 milligrams of iron per day – a women who is still having her periods needs about 18 milligrams per day.
Dietary iron is found in both plant and animal-based foods.
In fact, these 13 foods are all excellent choices for boosting your iron intake.
Oysters are an excellent source of iron. A serving of six raw oysters has almost 4 milligrams of iron. It also has about 43 calories, 50 milligrams of calcium, and 5 grams of protein.
White beans are a good plant-base source of iron. One half-cup serving has more than 3 milligrams iron. That half-cup serving also has 6 milligrams fiber and 500 milligrams potassium. It also has plenty of protein and calcium, B vitamins and antioxidants.
Beef liver is well-known as a source of iron — and for good reason. One slice of liver has more than 4 milligrams of iron. It’s also an excellent source of protein, B-complex vitamins, vitamin A and it even has 33 International Units of vitamin D. All for about 130 calories.
Lentils are another plant source of iron with more than 3 milligrams of iron in a half-cup serving. Lentils are also high in fiber – about 8 milligrams. In addition, lentils are high in protein, B vitamins, magnesium, and zinc.
Nothing makes us happier than finding out that chocolate is good for you, and it turns out that dark chocolate is a good source of iron, as well as antioxidants. A serving of dark chocolate (45 – 59 percent cacao solids) has almost 3.5 milligrams of iron. It also has 232 calories so don’t overdo it.
Canned tuna is a delicious source of iron. One 6-ounce can of tuna has over 2.5 milligrams of iron, along with plenty of potassium and B vitamins, along with a little vitamin D. It also has 400 milligrams sodium, which is a little on the high side. But, canned tuna has less than 150 calories, as long as you choose the kind packed in water, not oil.
Chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans, are a good source of iron. One-half cup of chickpeas has almost 2.5 milligrams of iron, along with several other minerals. It also has 141 micrograms folate, which is one of the B-complex vitamins, and 6 grams of fiber. All for less than 150 calories.
Tomato juice doesn’t have as much iron as our other selections, but it’s good for a beverage. One cup of tomato juice has one milligram of iron. It also has lycopene, a powerful antioxidant, and vitamin A. It’s also a good source of minerals, but look out for brands that are too high in sodium.
We’re not sure why, but potatoes don’t get the nutritional credit they deserve. Not only are they a good source of vitamin C, B vitamins, they’re an excellent source of potassium. Oh and they’re also high in iron. In fact, one large baked potato with the skin has more than 3 milligrams of iron.
Here’s another plant-based source of iron. Cashews are perfect as an iron-rich snack — one ounce has close to 2 milligrams of iron, It also has some vitamins and minerals along with beneficial monounsaturated fats.
Of course, iron is the reason Popeye wolfed down all those cans of spinach. One cup of cooked spinach has 6.5 milligrams of iron. It’s also got almost 250 milligrams of calcium and more than 800 milligrams of potassium. It’s also got some vitamin C, vitamin K and fiber.
Raisins, along with most dehydrated fruits, are high in iron. One little box (about 1/3 cup) has almost one milligram of iron – not bad for a mid-afternoon snack. Raisins are also high in potassium and a good source of B vitamins.
Beef is a great source of animal-sourced iron. One 6-ounce tenderloin steak has more than 3 milligrams of iron. It’s also a great source of zinc, potassium, and other minerals, plus vitamin B-12. It’s also got about 5 grams of saturated fat, so portion control is a good idea.
Adding these 13 foods to your grocery basket is a great start,
Published: March 25, 2015.By Shereen Lehman
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