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Iron Rich Foods to Fight Anemia

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Top 8 Iron Rich Foods to Fight Anaemia
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Iron is a key nutrient that is often associated with power and energy.  Iron is known to play many important functions in the human body. The human body is incapable of producing iron and you can only get it through the consumption of iron-rich foods.

When you don’t have enough iron in your body, you are likely to experience problems like anemia. So, eating iron-rich foods and keeping a check on your iron levels can help you feel energetic.

So, do you feel fatigued all the time? Do you want to know iron is present in which food? Keep reading to learn about iron rich foods. 

Why Do We Need Iron?

Here is why we need to have enough iron in our bodies.

  1. Most of the body’s iron (70%) is present as hemoglobin and myoglobin. Hemoglobin (Hg or Hgb) is responsible for carrying oxygen in the body. Further, myoglobin is required for proper muscle activity. 
  2. Iron helps the formation of important proteins that play a role in metabolism, respiratory function, collagen synthesis, etc.
  3. Iron is also important for an efficient immune system. 
  4. The presence of iron in our body is also associated with the brain functions. 

Iron absorption in our body is dependent upon vitamin C levels. Just like iron, make sure to include vitamin C-rich foods in your diet.

How Much Iron Do We Need? 

The daily iron requirement just like your calories can vary from person to person. The iron you need in a day depends upon your age, sex, dietary habits, and other associated medical condition. Here is all you know about your daily iron requirement (mg). 

Age GroupDaily Requirements (mg)
0-6 months0.27
6-12 months11
1-3 years7
4-8 years10
9-13 years8
14-18 years11
19-50 years8
51+ years8
14-18 years15
19-50 years18
51+ years8
Breastfeeding mothers (younger than 19 years)10
Breastfeeding mothers (19-50 years)9


Low Iron Levels in Body

Not getting enough iron or your body can lead to a condition known as anemia.

Anemia is a medical condition characterized by a reduced number of red blood cells or lower hemoglobin levels. 

Many factors can increase your risk of developing anemia, such as genetics, blood loss during menstruation, pregnancy, chronic medical conditions, nutritional deficiency, etc.

Read more about anemia in pregnancy.

One of the most obvious signs of anemia or iron deficiency is fatigue. The symptoms of anemia may be concealed if it is brought on by a chronic illness, making its detection difficult. There may or may not be signs of anemia, depending on the underlying cause. If so, they will be as follows: 

  • Chest pain
  • Headache 
  • Weakness
  • Pale skin
  • Shortness of breath

Iron-rich foods can help manage anemia, if not totally cure it. 

If you are wondering about iron is present in which food or what iron fruits or vegetables you can eat to cure iron deficiency anemia, here is the list of foods to consider!

Iron-Rich Foods to Treat Anemia 

Dietary adjustments are frequently a part of anemia treatment programs. The optimal diet for anemia includes iron fruits and vegetables and other vitamins necessary for the formation of hemoglobin and red blood cells. Additionally, it needs to contain meals that improve iron absorption in the body. 

Blood transfusions are another possible treatment for iron deficiency anemia. However, iron rich foods can be the safest option. 

Here are the foods that you can add to your diet.

1- Organ Meat

Organ meat is the first on the list when it comes to the foods that provide heme iron. Organ meats particularly liver, kidney, heart, and brain are rich in iron content. Not only iron but eating organ meat provides you with other essential vitamins as well. 

Eating 3 ounces of beef liver can fulfill 28% of iron DV (daily value).  

2- Legumes

Iron present in which food? Legumes and beans are a fine option for you!

Consuming beans and legumes can help you to regain your iron levels. Legumes, including beans, lentils, and chickpeas are a potential source of iron especially if you are on a vegetarian diet. Other than iron, legumes are a rich source of soluble fiber that aids in digestion and keeps you full for a longer time.  

Read more about other fiber-rich foods.

3- Pumpkin Seeds

Eating seeds can provide you with many health benefits including high iron content as well. Pumpkin seeds can also help you to improve your iron levels as one ounce of these seeds accounts for 14% DV by providing 2.5mg of iron. 

Read more about other pumpkin seeds’ benefits.

4- Iron-Rich Fruits 

Eating natural and fresh foods is one of the first things that can help you to find the right nutrition and that too with little or no side effects. Iron rich fruits are a great option to help you fight iron deficiency. 

Now, which fruits have iron? Here are some of the iron-rich fruits that you can add to your diet to help you fight anemia.

  • Dried Fruits – Dried fruits are among the iron rich fruits that can provide sufficient protein content. Popular dried foods that can provide good protein content are dried peaches (36% DV), dried raisins (24% DV), dried figs (17% DV), dried pears (31% DV), and aloo bukhara, etc. 
  • Berries – Which fruits have iron? Eating berries can provide you with the iron content you might be looking for. Some of the berries that are high in protein include raspberries (9% DV), mulberries (14% DV), blackberries (7% DV), elderberries (13% DV), and strawberries (6% DV), etc. 

Read more about other Aloo Bukhara benefits.

5- Iron Rich Vegetables

Vegetables are a rich source of many important vitamins and minerals and iron is no exception to this list. Many leafy green vegetables provide you with good amounts of iron. Some of the iron-rich vegetables include;

  • Leafy Greens – No one can deny the importance of spinach as an iron-rich vegetable and can provide 15% of DV. Other than spinach, collard, kale, and other leafy greens are also iron-rich vegetables. 
  • Broccoli – Another iron-rich vegetable that gives 0.7mg iron per 100g serving. 
  • String beans, cabbage, and sprouts are among the vegetables known for their high iron content. 

 6- Iron Fortified Cereals and Pseudocereals 

Cereals are one of the most popular meal options and can be a good source of iron. Iron-fortified cereals can help to fulfill the iron deficiency. Other than the fortified cereals, quinoa- a pseudocereal is also rich in iron as well as known for its many benefits. 

7- Dark chocolate

Eating dark chocolate offers many health benefits. Dark chocolate is a good source of fibers, and antioxidants as well as provides a good amount of iron. 

100g of dark chocolate yields almost 12.1mg of iron which accounts for 19% DV.

8- Meat and Fish

Another source of heme iron is found in fish and meat. Heme protein is abundant in lean white meat, such as chicken.

Fantastic iron-rich dinner for those with anemia is three ounces of grilled chicken with sides of broccoli, sautéed spinach, and tomatoes. 

Some other sources of iron in meat and fish include: 

  • Liver
  • Lamb
  • Chicken 
  • Shrimp
  • Tuna
  • Oysters
  • Salmons 

9- Nuts and Seeds

Iron present in which food? Nuts and seeds are another option to get iron. They are delicious on their own, in salads, or sprinkled over yogurt.

Some iron-rich nuts and seeds include: 

  • Cashews
  • Almonds
  • Pistachios
  • Pine nuts
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sunflower seeds

NOTE: Almonds are a good source of iron. They’re fantastic as a component of a balanced diet, but because they’re also heavy in calcium. Therefore, they can not significantly raise your iron levels. 

Foods to Avoid If You are Anemic

The following foods can hinder the absorption of iron:

  • Coffee and tea
  • Milk
  • Foods that contain phytates or phytic acids, such as brown rice and whole-grain wheat products
  • Foods that contain tannins, such as grapes, corn, and sorghum
  • Foods that contain oxalic acid, such as parsley, and peanuts 

Tips to Get More Iron in Diet 

The majority of persons with iron deficiency need to take supplemental iron to attain optimal iron status, even though adding foods high in iron to your diet can help raise blood levels of iron. It can also help many health conditions caused by iron deficiency.

Some people may require IV iron therapy because they do not absorb iron well. The appropriate course of action for a patient’s unique needs will be recommended by their doctor.

However, the following methods can help someone get the most iron possible: 

  • To increase absorption, combine foods vitamin C-rich foods, such as oranges, tomatoes, or strawberries, with foods high in iron.
  • To increase absorption, combine meals high in beta carotene, such as apricots, red peppers, and beets, with foods high in iron.
  • To increase your intake of iron, eat a mixture of heme and nonheme iron-containing foods throughout the day.
  • When possible, combine heme and nonheme iron meals to improve iron absorption.
  • To help red blood cell synthesis, include foods high in folate and vitamin B-12 in your diet. 

It’s Time to Add More Iron-Rich Foods to Your Next Grocery List!

Iron-rich foods can help to prevent as well as treat iron deficiency anemia. These natural foods are a good replacement for iron supplements and blood transfusions. However, eating these foods in moderation is the only way to have the right amount of iron in the blood. However, it is advisable to consult a nutritionist via Healthwire while looking for advice on making food choices.

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