Top 11 Foods High in Iron: A Comprehensive List


iron rich foods

REMEMBER: These Are TOP 11 Foods High in Iron! Pay SPECIAL Attention to Food #6! These Tips Helped Over 3, 000 Readers! Tips and Further Resources INCLUDED!

Iron is an essential mineral. Not only does it play a role in your cardiovascular health, but also in immune function, overall cell function, neural development, and is primarily responsible for transporting oxygen throughout your body.

Needless to say, deficiency of this mineral will affect all your bodily functions. Those who are at highest risk of this issue are:

  • Pregnant girls – Pregnant women need a much higher dose of iron each day as this is a critical nutrient for both mother and her baby.
  • Young children – Because children grow at a rapid rate, they are at much greater risk of a deficiency!
  • Vegetarians – Children who are vegetarians may face the risk of iron deficiency due to the lack of meat-based sources.
  • Female of childbearing age – Only a quarter of women who are of childbearing age meet the RDA for this mineral. An iron-deficient diet coupled with its loss during menstruation can lead to significant problems!

Listed below are the top 11 foods high in this substance. Adding these excellent sources to your diet will help ensure that you get its recommended daily dose.

Source #1 – Chicken Liver (19% RDA Per 1oz)

fresh chicken liver

A chicken liver may not be on the top of your shopping list, but it’s one of the most iron-rich foods you can eat. Just a single 1-ounce serving contains 3.6mg, which is 19% of its recommended daily amount (RDA).

Please note: Those who claim they don’t enjoy the taste of chicken liver have probably never eaten one that was properly prepared. Soaking it in milk before cooking or marinating in an acidic medium can help make the liver more palatable and – dare I say – enjoyable!

Source #2 – Pumpkin Seeds (11% RDA Per 1 Cup)

half of pumpkin

When you carve your Halloween pumpkin this year, don’t throw out its seeds. These are an excellent source of iron and other crucial nutrients. One cup of these contains 2.1mg of this mineral, which is 11% of the RDA. You can purchase seeds at the store, or you can scoop them out of a fresh pumpkin and roast them yourself.

Please note: For vegans and vegetarians, these are an excellent way to get the essential mineral intake your body needs. What is more, they make a great on-the-go snack as well.

Source #3 – Lentils (36% RDA Per 1 Cup)

lot of dry lentils

For a hearty dose of iron, cook up a pot of lentils. Just one cup of this comforting food contains 6.6mg, which is a whopping 36% of the RDA. The biggest issue with plant-based iron, such as the one found in lentils is that human body can not absorb it as quickly.

Although lentils are rich in this mineral, your organism may only absorb a small percentage of it. To help boost this process, try adding the following to your iron-rich meals – vitamin C, poultry, beef, pork, salmon and citric acid.

Pay attention: For vegetarians and vegans, pairing lentils with vitamin C foods is the only real way to boost its absorption. However, studies show that it can have a significant impact.

Source #4 – Clams (155% RDA) & Oysters (55% RDA Per 100g)

clam shells

Clams and oysters are the absolute best way to get the amount of iron your body needs. Just 100g of cooked clams provides you with 28mg of this crucial mineral. That’s around 155% of the recommended daily amount.

Just 100-grams of cooked oysters includes about 10mg of this vital mineral – around 55% of RDA. The key to maximizing quantities of iron in clams and oysters is to prepare them properly. Its content, for example, significantly drops if they are breaded and fried.

Extra advice: Try some methods of gentle cooking to preserve as much of the nutrients in the food as possible!

Source #5 – White Beans (117% RDA Per 1 Cup)

white beans

White beans are one of the richest sources of plant-based iron. One cup of these provides 21.1mg – or 117% of the daily recommended amount. One study also shows that bioavailability of iron in white beans is much higher than in colored ones (mainly red).

Worth pointing out: This may just be the best choice for vegans and vegetarians who are looking to avoid anemia!

Source #6 – Red Meat Including Beef (15% RDA) & Lamb (10% RDA Per 100g)

grilled steak meat

For most people, red meat is their primary source of iron because beef is one of the most available and affordable meats in the country. Just a 100 gram serving of 95% lean ground beef provides 2.8mg of iron, which equates to 15% of the RDA.

The amount of iron in beef depends primarily on the type of a meat cut. For example, ground beef that’s only 70% lean will have a lower count than the 95% one listed above. The only other cut that is comparable with the 95% lean ground is the tip side steak.

Pay attention: Lamb is also a good source, but not quite as high as beef. A 100 gram serving of lamb with 1/4” fat provides 1.9mg of iron (just 10% of the RDA).

Source #7 – Spinach (35% RDA Per 1 Cup)


Spinach is a nutrient powerhouse. It’s no surprise that this leafy green is also an excellent source of this vital mineral. One cup of boiled spinach will provide 6.4mg, which is 35% of the RDA.

Its mild flavor pairs well with many dishes. Combining it with vitamin C-rich foods will help boost its absorption. You can also choose to combine it with other stuff like beef or toss it in a salad with pumpkin seeds to help meet your daily iron needs.

Source #8 – Shrimps (15% RDA Per 3oz)

meal from shrimps

Seafood is a rich source of this mineral, and shrimps are no exception. A 3-oz serving of cooked prawns will provide you with 2.6mg of iron, or about 15% of the RDA. To maximize the benefits of these, choose fresh, cooked ones!

Processed seafood, in general, is much lower in iron and other helpful nutrients and minerals. For example, the Double Crunch Shrimp served at Applebee’s only contains 0.81mg of this mineral and cream of shrimp soup includes just 0.21mg!

Source #9 – Cashew Nuts (37% RDA Per 100g)

cashew nut

Cashew nuts are an excellent way to obtain iron. A 100-gram serving of raw cashews includes 6.7mg – about 37% of the recommended daily amount.

Pay attention: The great thing about cashews is that they have a mild flavor that you can quickly transform into a delicious nut butter, sauce or milk. That being said, you need to consume them raw to maximize iron absorption!

Source #10 – Strawberries (3% RDA Per 1 Cup)

fresh strawberries in field

Strawberries are one of the sweetest, juiciest fruits you can eat, but they also contain a fair amount of iron. One cup of whole strawberries contains 0.6mg, which only equates to 3% of the RDA. That being said, these can be paired with a variety of other mineral-rich foods or used to help fill the gap in your diet.

My advice: Pair the fruit with spinach for a fresh, zesty salad or mix them with cashews or pumpkin seeds for a sweet but nutritious snack.

Source #11 – Cocoa Powder (66% RDA Per 1 Cup)

dark chocolate with powder

Did you know that cocoa powder is an excellent source of iron? That sweet treat you love can also be very nutritious. A one cup serving will provide you with 11.9mg of this mineral – 66% of the RDA.

As you may have guessed, it comes from cocoa beans – the very same beans responsible for giving us chocolate. Add this powder to your morning smoothies or afternoon workout shakes for a guilt-free treat that’s good for your health.

Hello, I hope you find here all the best info that will help you lose weight and feel healthy and fit. My pen name is Christine and I want to make this site a great resource for those that want to get fit. Please, keep in mind that this website is for informational purposes only and that you always need to consult your decisions with your doctor.