Eat foods high in iron from the given list including those for vegetarians, vegans and meat and fish lovers. Iron in animal foods such as beef, chicken, clams, mussels, oysters, pork, sardines, shrimp and turkey are also listed. Know what foods are low in fat but high in iron. Iron deficiency causes iron deficiency anemia.
A food high, rich in or excellent source of iron means that it contains 20 percent or more of the daily value for iron in a serving. If it is mentioned that the food is iron free, it means that it contains no or negligible iron.
Iron Absorption By Body
Note that eating iron rich foods alone will not ensure adequate iron supply to body because the iron absorption by body depends on the form of the iron. The iron from animal foods, known as heme iron, is absorbed easily by the body. The iron found in vegetable foods, known as non-heme iron, is less available to the body.
The amount of iron absorbed from vegetarian food is around 1 - 10% , while it is 10 - 20% from animal food.
Good Enhancer Foods for Iron Absorption:
Iron from the raw foods is absorbed better. Foods that are rich in vitamin C such as tomato and citrus help to increase iron absorption.
Combinations of foods such as beans and tomato or tofu and broccoli result in good iron absorption. In general, vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, capsicum, potato, tomato, etc. and fruits such as cantaloupe, grapefruit, strawberries, orange, etc. enhance the iron absorption.
Daily iron requirement | Health risk of too much iron | anemia causes | Iron deficiency symptoms | Iron rich foods for vegetarians | Heme Iron foods
low fat high Iron foods | Iron in pregnancy | Iron rich recipes
Foods Not Good (Inhibitors) For Iron Absorption: Iron Blockers
Avoid the following foods in combination with iron foods as they inhibit the iron absorption: Tea, coffee, chard, etc.
The List of Iron Rich Foods
Following is a list of iron sources which contain 8 mg or more of iron per 100 g of the food.
- Cereals & Grains: barley, Rice flakes
- Pulses & Beans: cow pea, lobia (black-eye beans), lentils, soybean.
- Vegetables: Beetroot greens, mint, parsley, turnip greens.
Vegetables like broccoli and bok choy are rich in iron and also high in vitamin C.
The presence of vitamin C in these vegetables help absorb iron.
- Sea vegetables.
- Spices: Turmeric (Haldi)
- Fruits: Dried dates, watermelon, raisins
- Fish and Red meats.
- Iron in Animal Sources - Heme Iron: Animal food is one of the highest iron foods.
Iron In Vegetarian Diet
The daily requirement of iron is very easily met with vegetarian diet. For example, 1 cup of cooked spinach contains 3 mg (palak paneer recipe), 1 cup of tofu contains 13.2 mg and 1 cup cooked lentils give 6.4 mg of iron.