30 Excellent Iron Rich Foods that can help to Combat Anemia

excellent iron rich roods that can help combat anemia

Iron is one of the most vital minerals required by our body. It is obligatory for males beyond 19 years of age to consume 8 mg of iron on a daily basis and for females between 19 to 50 years to consume 18 mg of iron daily.

Consumption of iron below the recommended level can cause iron deficiency disorders like loss of weight, fatigue, hair loss and in the worst case, anemia.

It is characterized by a low level of hemoglobin and is a disease that affects almost every woman under the sun.

How is Iron beneficial for Health?

Iron is one of the minerals that are evenly distributed in the human body. It affects, regulates and catalyzes daily physiological functioning and helps to stay in good health.

Iron is responsible for several cellular functions and plays an important role in the enzymatic action.

Iron, being the most integral part of hemoglobin, helps in the transmission of oxygen from the lungs to different parts of the body and is responsible for the utilization and storage of oxygen in the muscles which helps to develop physical strength and fitness.

Given below are the list of iron-rich foods that are richly packed with iron. Regular consumption of these food items, whether as a side dish, dessert or main course is remarkably beneficial for the natural cure of anemia and effective restoration of RBC level and hemoglobin.

Top 30 Incredible Iron Rich Foods for Good Health and Prevention of Anemia

1. Broccoli

Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable and is one of the best foods high in iron. It is also packed with essential nutrients such as vitamin A, C, and magnesium.

The iron content in 100g of broccoli is 2.7 mg.

Easy Broccoli Recipe:

Ingredients-

  • A bunch of broccoli
  • A clove of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper

Procedure-

  • Chop the broccoli into florets of 2 inches in size
  • Steam the chopped pieces of broccoli in a steamer filled with boiling water
  • Boil the pieces until they become tender
  • While the broccoli is getting steamed, chop the garlic
  • Combine them with lemon juice, oil, pepper, and salt
  • Heat this garlic blend until the garlic pieces turn golden brown
  • Add the broccoli to the garlic mixture
  • The steamed broccoli is now ready to be servedRead More: Broccoli Health Benefits

2. Potato

potato to combat anemia

Included in the list of vegetables high in iron, the potato is one of the most commonly eaten vegetables across the globe. Being packed with iron as well as vitamin C, consumption of potatoes is highly beneficial for the maintenance of haemoglobin levels(1).

The iron content of an average size potato is 3.2mg.

Easy potato recipe:

Ingredients-

  • A pound of average sized potatoes
  • A clove of garlic
  • A bay leaf
  • A teaspoon each of pepper and salt
  • A tablespoon of butter

Procedure-

  • Add the garlic, bay leaf and potatoes to the saucepan
  • Cover them up to an inch with cold water
  • Add salt
  • Bring it to a boil and then let it simmer on a low flame until the potatoes become tender
  • Drain this out and remove the bay leaf and garlic
  • Slice the potatoes into halves
  • Toss the slices with butter, pepper, and salt for a slight sautéing
  • The dish is now ready to be served

3. Spinach

Spinach is one of the best vegetables high in iron. It is a staple part of the diet and is consumed for the increment of hemoglobin content.

The iron content in 100g of spinach is 4 mg.

Easy spinach recipe:

Ingredients-

  • A pound of trimmed, washed and gently dried spinach
  • ½ a teaspoon of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of butter for this recipe

Procedure-

  • Put the spinach in a pan of boiling water and cook it for about 5 minutes
  • Drain the liquid water and place the tender spinach in a dish
  • Season it with salt and butter
  • Your boiled spinach is ready to be served

4. Beetroot

Beetroot is one of the richest food sources of iron. In addition, it has a high content of folate and vitamin C that contributes to the increase in the level of hemoglobin in the blood. It acts as a natural cure for anemia and other iron deficiency disorders.

The iron content in 100g of beetroot is 0.8 mg.

Easy beetroot recipe:

Ingredients-

  • 4 whole beetroots
  • A tablespoon each of salt and lemon juice

Procedure-

  • Trim the beets and place them in the pan
  • Fill the pan with water that has been blended with salt and lemon juice
  • Boil the beets for about half an hour in the water until the beets become soft
  • Drain out the water
  • Serve the beets with butter, pepper, salt, basil and other toppings of your choice

iron rich foods to combat anemia

5. Apple

Apple is one of the best fruits high in iron. An apple is not only essential for boosting the level of hemoglobin but is delicious and juicy too. Have an apple a day to maintain a healthy iron level and keep anemia at bay(2).

The iron content of an average size apple of is 0.31 mg.

Easy apple recipe:

Ingredients-

  • 6 peeled and sliced apples with the cores removed
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1/4th a teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla essence
  • 2 tablespoons of water

Procedure-

  • Combine every ingredient in a steamer
  • Let them simmer until the apples become soft
  • Serve the dish chilled or hot as per your choice

6. Watermelon

Cool and juicy watermelon is one of the most sought-after fruits of summer. It refreshes the body and its iron packed content and high levels of vitamin C make it profoundly beneficial for pumping the haemoglobin and combating anemia(3).

The iron content of a cup of watermelon of average size is 0.4 mg.

Easy watermelon recipe:

Ingredients-

  • 2 cups of cubed watermelons
  • Lime juice
  • 1/4th a cup of coconut milk
  • A few ice cubes.

Procedure-

  • Add every ingredient except the ice to a juicer
  • Blend it well for about 30 seconds
  • Pour out the juice and serve it with the ice cubes floating in it

7. Strawberries

Pink, pretty, juicy and delicious strawberries are rich in iron as well as vitamin C which make the fruit incredibly beneficial for boosting the level of hemoglobin in the body.

The iron content in 100g of strawberries is 0.4 mg.

Easy strawberries recipe:

Ingredients-

  • 2 cups of chopped strawberries
  • Lime juice
  • 1/4th a cup of unsweetened milk
  • A few ice cubes

Procedure-

  • Add every ingredient except the ice to a juicer
  • Blend it well for about 30 seconds
  • Pour out the juice and serve it with the ice cubes floating in it

8. Pomegranate

pomegranate to combat anemia

Besides being richly loaded with iron, pomegranate is packed with proteins, calcium, fibrous content and a host of other vitamins and minerals. Pomegranate is almost a superfood for people who are suffering from anemia(4).

The iron content in 100g of pomegranate is 0.3 mg.

Easy pomegranate smoothie recipe:

Ingredients-

  • A cup of pomegranate juice
  • A cup of cubed pears
  • ¾ a cup of chopped bananas
  • 2 teaspoons of chopped ginger
  • A few ice cubes

Procedure-

  • Add ½ cup of pomegranate juice with all the other ingredients into the juicer
  • Blend well for about 2 minutes
  • Pour out the liquid
  • Add the other half cup of the pomegranate juice
  • The smoothie is now ready to be served

9. Red Meat or Ground Beef

Red meat is one of the best foods for anemia. It is an exceptionally rich source of iron and can be consumed on a regular basis in measured quantities for enhancing the levels of hemoglobin.

Do make sure that the meat is devoid of fat otherwise the whole purpose of staying healthy will get ruined.

The iron content in 100g of red meat is 0.4 mg.

Easy red meat or ground beef soup recipe:

Ingredients-

  • A pound of meat
  • Meat Broth
  • An onion
  • Some celery
  • Carrots
  • Corn
  • Peas
  • Tomatoes
  • Bay leaves
  • Garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Water
  • Salt and pepper

Procedure-

  • Cut the meat and chop every vegetable into small pieces
  • Put the meat pieces on a baking tray and drizzle with some oil
  • Bake for 30 minutes on slow heat
  • Sauté onion and celery in olive oil
  • Add the broth, veggies, and spices to a saucepan and start boiling them
  • Add the baked meat
  • Let the contents simmer until the meat softens
  • Serve the red meat soup with seasoned with salt and pepper

10. Liver

The liver is considered to be the best way to enhance the hemoglobin levels. Even a small portion of meat liver is high in iron and can go a long way in boosting the iron level.

You can have either beef liver or chicken liver, although the former is preferred for its low cholesterol and calorie content.

The iron content in 100g of chicken liver is 9 mg.

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Easy liver recipe:

Ingredients-

  • A liver
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 each of tomato and onion
  • 1 teaspoon each of basil, salt, seasoned flour, and pepper

Procedure-

  • Heat the butter and add the vegetables to it for about 20 minutes of cooking
  • Dredge the liver in the flour
  • Cook the coated liver in the pan with melted butter until the coating turns golden brown
  • Serve with a garnishing of your choice

11. Breast Meat of Chicken

Chicken breast meat is lean, free of fats and savory too. It is perfect for the daily dosage of iron and is remarkably effective for the restoration of dipped hemoglobin levels(5).

The iron content in 100g of chicken breast meat is 0.7 mg.

Easy chicken breast soup recipe:

Ingredients-

  • A pound of chicken breast
  • Meat broth an onion
  • Some celery
  • Carrots
  • Corn
  • Peas
  • Tomatoes
  • Bay leaves
  • Garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Water
  • Salt and pepper

Procedure-

  • Cut the meat and chop every vegetable into small pieces
  • Sauté onion and celery in olive oil
  • Add the chopped breast pieces, broth, veggies , nd spices to a saucepan and start boiling them
  • Let the contents simmer until the meat softens
  • Serve the soup with seasoned with salt and pepper

12. Seafood

Seafood to combat anemia

Seafood is an excellent source of iron. They are not only delicious but are also packed with essential nutrients including iron.

However, do refrain from spicy and oily seafood and cook it in a steamed and sautéed fashion to make sure that it is palatable as well as healthy.

The iron content in 100g of prawns is 3 mg.

Easy prawns salad recipe:

Ingredients-

  • 200g of boiled prawns
  • 1 avocado
  • 200g of tomatoes
  • 3 spring onions
  • 1 cup of shredded lettuce
  • 2 tablespoon of olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon of lemon juice

Procedure-

  • Put the boiled prawns along with all the veggies in a salad bowl
  • Drizzle it with lemon juice and olive oil and toss the contents gently
  • Serve this prawn salad with a sauce of your choice

13. Clams

If you are a connoisseur of seafood then you must have heard or tasted this wonderful delicacy. Clams are considered to be the king of iron and are packed with vitamin B12 and C.

The iron content in 100g of clams is 28 mg.

Easy clams salad recipe:

Ingredients-

  • 20 clams
  • ½ a cup of vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon each of sugar and salt
  • 1 cup each of sliced onions and cucumbers
  • Olive oil
  • Pepper

Procedure-

  • Marinate the onions in vinegar, salt, and sugar
  • Cook the clams and then scoop out the meat from the hard shells
  • Stir the veggies in olive oil and then add the clam meat
  • Cook until the meat becomes tender
  • Your clam salad is ready to be served

14. Brown Rice

If you are not already having brown rice then switch to it right from today to enhance your regular iron intake. Besides, it is much healthier to consume brown rice as compared to white rice for its low calorie and carb content(5).

The iron content in 100g of brown rice is 3 mg.

Easy brown rice recipe:

Ingredients-

  • 2 cups of water
  • A cup of brown rice

Procedure-

  • Boil the water and add the rice to the boiling water
  • Let the contents simmer for about 45 minutes
  • Turn the flame off and let the rice sit for about 20 minutes
  • Uncover the pot and fluff the brown rice that is now ready

15. Chickpeas, Kidney Beans, and Soybeans

This is one of the best food sources of iron for vegans and vegetarians. These foods are excellent for increasing the hemoglobin levels and are rich in folate as well as vitamin C that work in unison to combat anemia.

The iron content in 100g of soybeans is 15.7 mg.

Easy soybeans recipe:

Ingredients-

  • ½ a pound of fresh soybeans
  • 2 tablespoons of salt

Procedure-

  • Simply boil the soybeans in salted water for about 5 minutes
  • Let it simmer down for the next 15 minutes
  • Drain out the boiled soybeans
  • Serve them with rice or bread

16. Whole Grains

whole grains to combat anemia

Whole grains and cereals like oatmeal, quinoa, and barley are excellent in combating iron deficiency disorders. Incorporate the whole grains into your daily diet for increasing the hemoglobin levels in the blood(6).

The iron content in 100g of whole grains is 2.5 mg.

Easy oatmeal recipe:

Ingredients-

  • ½ cup Oatmeal
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Cinnamon powder
  • Brown sugar

Procedure-

  • Boil a cup of plain water
  • Add ½ cup oatmeal to it
  • Reduce the flame and stir the oats gently until they absorb the water completely
  • Add a tablespoon of honey to the oats with stirring
  • Transfer the oatmeal to a large bowl
  • Sprinkle it with cinnamon powder and brown sugar

17. Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds not only make for a tasty snack but are also rich in iron, vitamin K, manganese, and zinc(7).

The iron content in 28g of pumpkin seeds is 4.2 mg.

Easy pumpkin seeds recipe:

Ingredients-

  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Salt
  • Butter

Procedure-

  • You need an oven for this recipe.
  • Preheat the microwave oven to about 300 degree
  • Toss in the pumpkin seeds in the bowl
  • Add salt and butter to it
  • Spread them in a baking sheet
  • Bake them for about half an hour or more until the seeds turn brown
  • Serve the roasted pumpkin seeds with a dipping sauce of your choice

18. Turkey Meat

turkey meat to combat anemia

Turkey is not only delicious, tender and healthy but also loaded with iron. Besides, turkey is packed with proteins and essential minerals like zinc and selenium that make it highly beneficial for health.

The iron content in 100g of turkey meat is 2.3 mg.

Easy turkey soup recipe:

Ingredients-

  • A pound of turkey meat
  • Meat Broth
  • 1 onion
  • Some celery
  • Carrots
  • Corn
  • Peas
  • Tomatoes
  • Bay leaves
  • Garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Water
  • Salt and pepper

Procedure-

  • Cut the turkey and marinate it with the spices for 1 hour
  • Chop every vegetable into small pieces
  • Sauté the onion and celery in olive oil
  • Add the chopped and marinated turkey, broth, veggies and the residue of spices to a saucepan and start boiling them
  • Let the contents simmer until the meat softens
  • Serve the turkey soup seasoned with salt and pepper

19. Tofu

This soy-based food item is highly essential for the daily dose of iron for vegans and vegetarians. In addition to iron, tofu is a rich source of thiamin and minerals like magnesium, calcium, and selenium. It is also rich in isoflavones that are powerful antioxidants required to protect the body from oxidative damage(8).

The iron content in 100g of tofu is 3.6 mg.

Easy tofu recipe:

Ingredients-

  • 1 cup of diced tofu
  • 1 tablespoon each of tomato sauce, soy sauce and sesame oil
  • 1 cup full of peas, carrots, cabbage, garlic, and ginger

Procedure-

  • Marinate the tofu in a blend of oil and sauces
  • Boil the vegetables and then toss them in with the marinated tofu
  • Your tofu salad is now ready

20. Dark Chocolate

dark chocolate to combat anemia

Dark chocolate might sound sinful but it is absolutely okay to give in to your temptations. It is rich in iron and its prebiotic fibrous content maintains the health of good intestinal bacteria. Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants like flavonols that provide protection against oxidative stress.

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The iron content in 100g of dark chocolate is 3.3 mg.

Easy dark chocolate recipe:

Ingredients-

  • Soy milk
  • Melted dark chocolate

Procedure-

  • Fill a bow with soy milk
  • Add melted dark chocolate to it with constant stirring
  • Boil this for a few minutes
  • Your dark chocolate soy milk is now ready

21. Dates

Dates are considered to be one of the best dry fruits high in iron and potent antioxidants. The other essential nutrients contained in dates include minerals like calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc and magnesium and vitamins such as thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, folate, and vitamins A and K.

The iron content in 100g of dates is 1 mg.

22. Apricots

Dried apricots are an excellent source of iron and dietary fiber. Its fibrous content lowers cholesterol and keeps the cardiovascular system healthy.

The iron content in 100g of dried apricots is 2.7 mg.

Also Read: Signs To Look For Before Heart Attack

23. Prunes

Prunes to combat anemia

Prunes or dried plums are a powerhouse of nutrients. These fruits are packed with iron, dietary fibrous content, vitamins B, K and minerals like potassium and calcium. You can have prunes at breakfast with your bowl of cereals for a healthy dose of iron.

The iron content in 100g of prunes is 0.81 mg.

24. Berries

Berries are not only rich in iron but can also boost the absorption of iron in the gut. Its rich content of vitamin C improves the absorption of non-heme iron by the preventing the formation of insoluble iron molecules.

The vitamins contained in berries catalyze the reduction reaction of iron from its ferric to ferrous form which enhances the absorption of the mineral.

The iron content in 100g of berries is 0.3 mg.

25. Dried Grapes or Raisins

dried grapes or raisins to combat anemia

Raisins are loaded with nutrients and its iron content is exceptionally high. It is also rich in carbohydrates, vitamin B- Complex and potassium. The vitamin B Complex aids in the formation of new blood cells and is highly beneficial in combating anemia.

An easy and combined recipe for dates, apricots, berries, raisins, and prunes:

Ingredients-

  • 2 tablespoon yogurt
  • Vanilla essence
  • 1 bowl full of dates, apricots, berries, raisins, bananas, oranges, plums, prunes, strawberries and grapes

Procedure-

  • Combine 2 tablespoons of yogurt with a teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • Mix a variety of dates, apricots, berries, raisins, bananas, oranges, plums, prunes, strawberries and grapes in a salad bowl
  • Add the vanilla yogurt to the salad and serve it slightly chilled

26. Eggs

Eggs are an excellent source of iron and proteins. A boiled egg for breakfast makes for a healthy dose of proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Avoid eating fried egg like omelettes as the oil content will only mar healthy eating and avert you from staying fit.

The iron content in 100g of the boiled egg is 1.2 mg.

Easy eggs recipe:

  • Boil the eggs in salted water
  • Serve after seasoning it with salt and pepper

27. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are tiny, dark and crunchy seeds that are not only rich in iron but are also packed with magnesium and calcium. You can have chia pudding or add the grounded chia seeds to your smoothies for a healthy dosage of iron and other minerals.

The iron content in 100g of chia seeds is 7.7 mg.

Easy chia seeds recipe:

  • Combine 2 tablespoons of yogurt with a teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • Sprinkle the yogurt with chia seeds and serve chilled

28. Nuts

Nuts are an excellent source of iron. Sprinkle your salads, smoothies, and food with chopped nuts for the regular intake of iron and other essential nutrients.

The best variety of nuts that is packed with iron is cashew nuts. Eat a handful of cashew nuts daily for the regular absorption of iron.

The iron content in 100g of cashew nuts is 6.7 mg.

Easy nuts recipe:

  • Combine 2 tablespoons of yogurt with a teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • Sprinkle the yogurt with nuts and serve chilled

29. Tomato Puree

tomato puree to combat anemia

Raw tomatoes might not contain much iron but when mashed into a puree and concentrated, the paste obtained becomes a powerhouse of iron.

You can also have tomatoes dried in the sun for a rich dose of iron. Besides, tomatoes are packed with vitamin C which enhances the absorption of iron in the gut(9).

The iron content in 100g of tomato puree is 2.5 mg.

Easy tomato puree recipe:

  • Season the tomato puree with salt, herbs, and pepper
  • Serve it as a dipping sauce with finger foods

30. Palm Hearts

These are the vegetables of the tropics that are loaded with iron, manganese, potassium, folate, vitamin C, and fiber. This vegetable can be sautéed, grilled, blended with sauces, added to salads and baked into a delicious snack.

The iron content in 100g of palm hearts is 4.6 mg.

Easy palm hearts recipe:

  • Toss in the palm hearts into a vegetable salad of your choice
  • Serve it after seasoning with salt and pepper

The innumerable health benefits of iron-rich foods include boosting of energy levels, improvement of muscle health and functioning, maintenance of health during pregnancy and enhancement of the health of the brain and central nervous system.

Iron is the most vital nutrient essential for the production of RBCs. The two types of iron include heme iron and non-heme iron.

The former variety is present in chicken, meat, eggs, and fish. The latter is found in cereals, vegetables, nuts and more.

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