5 Groups Of Foods Rich In Iron

Proper nutrition is not only about providing the body with a certain amount of calories. It is also providing yourself with all the nutrients necessary for the proper functioning of the body. One of the elements that we often forget in our diet is iron. Why it is important and in what foods they can be found, you can read in this article.

Why is iron important?

People leading a healthy lifestyle usually carefully plan their diet and daily training. They often analyze all aspects of their nutrition and physical activity. They wonder what running shoes choose how many calories each meal should have and which exercise gadget to buy.

However, they rarely analyze the nutrients in their diet. For this reason, deficiency of certain vitamins and minerals is a common problem even in people leading an active lifestyle. An element that we usually forget is iron, and it plays an important role in the body. It is the basic micronutrient that takes part in the processes of tissue respiration taking place in the body.

Iron is an important part of the respiratory enzymes that carry oxygen in hemoglobin and store it in muscle tissues. As a microelement, this element is also involved in the production of red blood cells, i.e. erythrocytes, but also in the synthesis of DNA, the production of collagen and elastin, L-carnitine or neurotransmitters in the brain.

Iron deficiency in the body is easy to overlook as it causes non-specific symptoms. Low levels of this element contribute to the development of anemia. Iron deficiency anemia accounts for as much as 80% of all cases. Anemia especially affects women of childbearing age, both pregnant and menstruating. Iron is stored in the body, especially in the liver, but its deficiency in the diet consumes the reserves that were previously created.

Deficiency of this micronutrient in the initial stages may give no symptoms or cause non-specific ailments. These include, among others, dizziness, problems with concentration, weakness, fainting, decreased efficiency of the body. In addition, you may experience pale skin, greater brittleness of hair and nails, burning and cracking of the tongue, and paleness of the conjunctiva.

Who is at risk of iron deficiency?

Iron in the diet is essential for every person, but there are groups of people particularly at risk of deficiency of this element. If you are in one of them, it is worth taking care of proper supplementation with food or special preparations.

Iron deficiency is especially a threat to people with a high demand for this micronutrient, as well as those who use unbalanced diets or struggle with malabsorption in the intestines. People who should take care of iron-containing products in the first place include:

♦ Pregnant women – Pregnant women , especially in the second and third trimesters, are more likely to develop iron deficiency and therefore develop anemia. Their demand for this element increases by almost half, so covering it with ordinary food products is very difficult. Therefore, pregnant women often use supplements that contain adequate doses of iron.

♦ Women of reproductive age – this includes all women, especially menstruating women.

♦ Young children – especially those whose mothers were deficient in iron during pregnancy.

♦ Blood and bone marrow donors .

♦ Athletes – nutrients and minerals are often removed from the body along with sweat, so people with an active lifestyle should know what foods contain iron.

♦ People who eat poorly – this group includes both those who eat processed foods and those who eat an unbalanced diet.

♦ People with digestive problems – this group includes mainly those who struggle with inflammation of the intestines, gastritis or ulcers.

♦ Vegans and Vegetarians – The most digestible iron products are mostly of animal origin. For this reason, vegans and vegetarians should take care of proper supplementation of this element.

♦ People who consume large amounts of black tea and coffee – these drinks contain tannin, which binds iron.

♦ People after surgery, taking dietary supplements with vitamin E , calcium, manganese and zinc, people with parasitic infections or heavy metal poisoning.

The need for iron

Iron is stored in the body and is constantly “recycled”. However, part of it is removed from the body along with sweat, epidermis and epithelial cells. Therefore, it is necessary to supplement it, and it is best to provide the body with iron in food. According to the standards prepared by the Food and Nutrition Institute, the recommended daily intake of this element for specific groups is:

♦ Children aged 1-3 la this : 7 mg

♦ Children aged 4-12: 10 mg

♦ Boys 13-18 years: 12 mg

♦ Girls 12-18 years: 15 mg

♦ Women 19-50 years of age: 18 mg

♦ Women aged 51+: 10 mg

♦ Pregnant women: 27 mg

♦ Breastfeeding women: 10 mg

♦ Adult men: 10 mg

Excess iron in the body

Not only iron deficiency is dangerous for the body, but also its excess. This element itself can be potentially toxic, which is why it binds primarily with proteins in the body. Excess iron, especially in the free state, leads to the production of free radicals that damage and mutate cells. In addition, too much of this element oxidizes cholesterol, which then accumulates in the arteries, and also contributes to the increase in the amount of pathogenic microorganisms. It is therefore necessary to consciously consume products that are a source of iron, avoid dietary supplements if they are not needed and consciously prepare balanced meals.

Iron in food

The best way to supply your body with iron is through food. Food elements can be divided into two groups. The first is heme iron, i.e. of animal origin. The second type is a non-heme element, that is, from plant food. What iron is best absorbed? Hemowe, especially derived from meat. Therefore, vegans and vegetarians must take care of additional supplementation of this micronutrient. Iron is not well absorbed in the body. The body uses about 5 – 35% of the element from each portion. Most of it is absorbed from meat, as much as 25%. It is worth remembering, however, that iron is best used by the body when it is supplied with vitamin C. Therefore, to every meat meal you should add a salad or salad to help absorb the iron.


As already mentioned, foods that contain a lot of iron are foods of animal origin, especially meat. This element is stored in the liver, therefore the liver was considered a good source of the micronutrient. Currently, offal is not recommended as part of a regular daily diet. First of all, because organ tissues store large amounts of fat, especially the toxins that have been dissolved in it. The liver plays the role of a detoxifying organ, cleanses the body, but at the same time collects all impurities. Therefore, it is better to eat meat instead of offal. The sources of iron in a non-vegetarian diet are primarily red meat, poultry, as well as fatty fish and seafood. However, the Institute of Health and Food recommends keeping the amount of consumed animal products at the level of 500 g per week. Iron-rich foods include:

♦ Pork liver – iron content is 18.7 mg per 100 g

♦ Chicken liver – 9.5 mg per 100 g

♦ Beef liver – 9.4 mg per 100 g

♦ Beef tenderloin – 3.1 mg per 100 g

♦ Poultry wing – 1.4 mg per 100 g

♦ Turkey drumstick – 1.3 mg per 100 g

♦ Pork loin – 1 g per 100 g

♦ Caviar – 11.8 mg per 100 g

♦ Oysters – 4.6 mg per 100 g

♦ Sardines (in oil) – 2.9 mg per 100 g

♦ Mackerel – 1.6 mg per 100 g

♦ Tuna – 1.2 mg per 100 g

♦ Carp – 1 mg per 100 g

♦ Salmon – 1 mg per 100 g

Products of animal origin

What does iron contain besides meat? Also other products of animal origin, mainly eggs. Mainly the yolks are rich in the element. Turkey eggs contain 4 mg of iron per 100 g of product, goose eggs have 3.8 mg per 100 g, and chicken eggs 2 mg per 100 g.

Vegetable sources of iron – fruits and vegetables

Vegans and vegetarians need to take special care of getting the right amount of nutrients to their body and knowing what is high in iron. The most easily digestible element is found in animal products. This does not mean, however, that you cannot provide yourself with iron when eating meatless meals. Iron-rich vegetables and fruits can be a good source of this micronutrient. You will find most of the element in:

♦ Soy – 15 mg of iron per 100 g of product

♦ White beans – 10 mg per 100 g

♦ Dried tomatoes – 9.1 mg per 100 g

♦ Potatoes – 7 mg per 100 g

♦ Spinach – 2.7 mg per 100 g

♦ Dill – 2.7 mg per 100 g

♦ Botwines – 2.5 mg per 100 g

♦ Chives – 2 mg per 100 g

♦ Tomato concentrate – 1.9 mg per 100 g

♦ Kale – 1.6 mg per 100 g

♦ Arugula – 1.4 mg per 100 g

♦ Brussels sprouts – 1.4 mg per 100 g

As you can see above, you will find the most iron in vegetables in green foods. In addition to them, fruit can also be introduced into the diet. Most of the element is contained in:

♦ Dried apricots – 6.3 mg per 100 g

♦ Dried plums – 3.5 mg per 100 g

♦ Raisins – 2.6 mg per 100 g

♦ Dried figs – 2 mg per 100 g

♦ Apples – 2 mg per 100 g

♦ Black currants – 1.2 mg per 100 g

♦ Avocados – 1 mg per 100 g

Iron-rich plant foods – nuts, pips and seeds

In addition to vegetables and fruits, it is also worth introducing other plant-based products to your diet, mainly nuts, seeds and seeds. They are a good addition to almost any dish. So what has iron and how much?

♦ Sesame paste – 19.2 mg per 100 g

♦ Soybeans – 14.7 mg per 100 g

♦ Sesame – 14.5 mg per 100 g

♦ Soy flour – 9.2 mg per 100 g

♦ Pumpkin seeds – 8.8 mg per 100 g

♦ Hemp seed – 7.9 mg per 100 g

♦ Chia seeds – 7.7 mg per 100 g

♦ Amaranth – 7.6 mg per 100 g

♦ Lentils – 7.5 mums per 100 g

♦ White beans – 6.9 mg per 100 g

♦ Cashews – 6.6 mg per 100 g

♦ Lentils – 6.5 mg per 100 g

♦ Wheat germ – 6.2 mg per 100 g

♦ Red lentils – 5.8 mg per 100 g

♦ Pine Nuts – 5.5 mg per 100 g

♦ Oat bran – 5.4 mg per 100 g

♦ Sunflower seeds – 5.2 mg per 100 g

♦ Hazelnuts – 4.7 mg per 100 g

♦ Peanuts – 4.5 mg per 100 g

♦ Pistachios – 4 mg per 100 g

♦ Almonds – 3.7 mg per 100 g

♦ Millet – 3 mg per 100 g

♦ Wholemeal rye bread – 2.3 mg per 100 g

♦ Buckwheat – 2.2 mg per 100 g

♦ Brown rice – 1.3 mg per 100 g

Other foods with a lot of iron

Not only vegetables, fruit and meat are rich in iron, but also other products. Among them, cocoa can be distinguished in particular. Its iron content is 36 mg per 100 g of product. Spirulina algae have 28.5 mg of the element per 100 g. Cane molasses (4.7 mg per 100 g) and yeast paste (4 mg per 100 g) are also rich in iron. Is it all that contains a lot of iron? No, because this element can be found almost everywhere, also in spices, it is found in:

♦ Dried thyme – 123.6 mg per 100 g

♦ Dried basil – 89.9 mg per 100 g

♦ Dried mint – 82.7 mg per 100 g

♦ Dried marjoram – 82.7 mg per 100 g

♦ Dried cumin – 66.3 mg per 100 g

♦ Dried turmeric – 55 mg per 100 g

♦ Dried dill – 48.7 mg per 100 g

♦ Dried oregano – 36.8 mg per 100 g

♦ Dried rosemary – 29.2 mg per 100 g

♦ Dried Sage – 28.1 mg per 100 g

♦ Dried peppers – 21.2 mg per 100 g

♦ Ground ginger – 19.8 mg per 100 g

Iron in baby food

Children need the right amount of iron, but too much iron can cause health problems, as well as deficiency. Therefore, they should not be given dietary supplements, and instead take care of balanced meals. It is worth giving children products with a high iron content, which is almost the same as what we eat ourselves. A toddler’s diet cannot lack a variety of dishes. They should include fruits, vegetables rich in iron, seeds and nuts, as well as meat, preferably turkey, chicken or rabbit. It is also worth introducing fish to the child’s diet, at least twice a week. Foods rich in iron for children also include eggs and dairy.

Therefore, it is worth knowing what iron is in and how to properly deliver it to your body. This way you will avoid unpleasant ailments related to the deficiency of this element, the most severe of which is anemia. Products rich in iron will keep your hair, skin and nails in good condition and avoid anemia.

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