Iron Rich Foods

Most iron rich foods are animal in origin. For this reason, it can be tricky for vegans, vegetarians and people who avoid red meats to get enough iron in a day. Luckily, there are plenty of supplements you can take, but if you’d rather get iron through your daily diet, you’ll want to incorporate some red meats and other foods rich in iron into your diet.

Iron is important for weight loss as your body needs iron to produce red blood cells, which are required to oxygenate and burn fat and calories. This is why starvation diets don’t work: if you don’t eat foods that are high in iron, you won’t effectively lose fat, only muscle and organ weight. You need to have food high in iron if you want to stay in shape.

If you don’t have any good sources of iron in food, you may feel lethargic and fatigued even when you’ve eaten and rested. People who get enough iron in a day tend to be more up and active throughout the day.

To be clear, overdosing on iron will not help you burn fat more quickly. Oxygenated blood is a necessity for any effective fat burning, but that doesn’t mean that an extra piece of liver will result in double-time fat burning. You can overdose on iron just as easily as you can overdose on sugar, so be reasonable while arranging your diet.

Iron Rich Foods List, by Serving

Iron Rich FoodIron Content (mg)RDA%Calories
Fish Paste950170
Boiled Mussels73990
Liver Pate739190
Liver Sausage6.436312
Sardines canned4.527180
Anchovies canned422310
Lean Beef2.516240
Egg Yolk (4)2.413216

If you really don’t want to bother with red meats for iron sources of food, here are some vegetarian-safe foods that are high in iron…

Other Iron Rich FoodsIron Content (mg)RDA%*Calories
Thyme ground124688*276
Curry Powder58321*233
Oat & Wheat Bran45250*330
Boiled Lentils3.519100
Cinnamon ground38210*n/a
Garam Masala33183*380
Sesame Seeds105511
Cashew Nuts6.234610
Blackcurrants canned52845
Figs dried4.223205
Soya Beans317140
Wholemeal Bread2.715215
Red Kidney Beans2.514100
Pumpkin Seeds (1 oz)4.223163
Spinach, boiled (1 cup)6.4337

See this iron rich foods report from Harvard University for more information.

*these ingredients are eaten in very small portions and are not really a high source of iron. RDA is based on 18mg per day, men may only need 10mg per day. High doses of iron are not recommended. Please read our Terms of Use!

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