Iron is one of the most essential minerals that plays several crucial roles in our body. The main objective that iron focuses is to carry oxygen throughout the body as a part of red blood cells. So, without enough iron, your body leads to iron deficiency and might face issues like anemia. The Daily Value (DV) for iron is 18 mg for an adult body. Keep in mind, iron is one of those minerals that our body can’t produce so we have to get it from food. But fortunately, there are lots of healthy foods packed with significant amount of iron. So, without further ado, let’s know what are the 10 best iron sources that you should add in your diet to get optimum amount of iron for the body.
Keep in mind that the iron is two types. Heme iron and non-heme iron. Heme iron is found in foods related to animal flesh like organ meat, red meat, turkey, shellfish etc. and heme iron is also easily absorbed by our body. On the contrary, non-heme iron is mostly found in plant-based foods like legumes, spinach, quinoa etc. and non-heme iron is not easily absorbed by our body. So, if you are not a vegetarian or vegan then I suggest you to focus more on the animal sources for your %DV of iron. Okay, enough talking, let’s know all the 10 best iron sources.
Organ meats like liver, kidneys, brain, and heart are some of the best iron sources. As an example, a 100-gram serving of beef liver contains a whopping 6.5 mg of iron or 36% of the DV which is maybe the highest quantity of iron you can find in a food source per serving. Moreover, we all know that any type of meat is high in protein so that’s a bonus benefit of eating organ meats.
Tofu is a very popular soy-based food among the vegetarians and the good news is, it is rich in iron. 100 grams of this food provides 3 mg of iron which is 17% of the DV. Moreover, it is also packed with protein as well as calcium which will take care of your muscles and bones respectively. So, it is undoubtedly one of the iron sources that is worth consuming.
Shellfish mainly clams, oysters and mussels are some of the best iron sources. Like, 100-gram of clams contain up to 3 mg of iron which is 17% of the DV but there are some types of clams that contain lower amount of iron so beware of that. Moreover, shellfish also provides decent amount of high-quality protein and it’s also very rich in vitamin C which helps in iron absorption.
Yes! Dark chocolates also fall into the list the best iron sources! If you are a chocolate lover, you must be very surprised yet happy right now. But that’s true. Dark chocolates are packed with various minerals specifically these three: copper, iron and magnesium.
The serving of 28-gram or 1-ounce of dark chocolate contains 3.4 mg of iron which is 19% of the DV and that’s huge amount because if you calculate, you would be surprised how much iron it contains per 100-gram but that won’t make sense since no one is going to eat 100 grams of dark chocolate altogether. Anyway, if you are going to consume dark chocolate then go for dark chocolates which contains at least 70% cocoa to get the maximum benefits.
Spinach may not give you superpower like Popeye used to get but it sure helps you to maintain the %DV of iron because it is one of the best iron sources that especially vegetarians will love. 100 grams of spinach provide 2.7 mg of iron which is 15% of the DV. Moreover, it is also rich in vitamin C and Vitamin C hps to absorb iron. Obviously, it is not as good as heme iron but the iron absorption from spinach is better than other plant foods thanks to this vitamin.
Legumes like beans, lentils, chickpeas, peas, and soybeans – all of them are pretty good sources of iron. Lentils are considered the best iron source among all the legumes. 100 grams of cooked lentils can provide you 3.4 mg of iron which is 19% of the DV. As a plant food, it’s an outstanding amount. So, you should better include legumes especially lentils in your diet if you want to get the right amount of iron everyday easily.
Beans are also included in the legume family but we just have made a separate point so that you don’t get confused. Black beans, navy beans and kidney beans – all of them are good sources of iron. For example, 100 grams of cooked black beans contain 2 mg of iron that means 12% of the DV.
Pumpkin Seeds are easily one of the best iron sources out there because they really contains massive amount of iron just like dark chocolate does but as it is a snacks item, the consumption of these seeds is way lower similar to dark chocolate.
That’s why, calculation per 100 grams doesn’t make sense here. So, 1-ounce or 28 grams of pumpkin seeds contain 2.5 mg of iron which is 14% of the DV. Moreover, these tasty snacks are one of the richest sources of magnesium too! You should better add this snack to get two important minerals.
Red meat is not only rich in protein and zinc but also one od the best iron sources because 100 grams of red meat contains 2.7 mg of iron which means 15% of the DV. It is also rich in several B vitamins. Since red meat is very easily accessible, it’s really a pretty good choice to include in your diet to get optimum amount of iron in your body.
Quinoa is a very popular pseudocereal which is rich in both complex carbohydrates and protein so it is no doubt why millions of fitness enthusiasts prefer quinoa as their ideal food. In a nutshell, it is a very nutritious food item because it is also rich in various minerals including iron. 100 grams of Quinoa contains 2 mg of iron that means 10% of the DV. So, you should not miss this awesomely nutritious food if you want to get optimum amount of iron as well as other valuable nutrients.
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Therefore, these are the best iron sources you should include in your diet to reach the %DV required for your body. All of them are great nutritious food items that you can eat without thinking twice unless you are a vegetarian because in that case, you only have to rely on the plant-based foods to get the iron. But if you eat enough Vitamin C then it will also help you to absorb iron well in the body even if the iron is non-heme iron. Another thing to keep in mind that consume meat items especially red meat in moderation because not only it contains significant amount of bad fats but also is of high calorie which might create unnecessary fat gain and indigestion. Anyway, hope, you have found this article about best iron sources helpful enough. If it’s really so then don’t hesitate to express your valuable thoughts in the comment section below. Thanks for visiting and appreciating our work.