Top 10 Foods Highest in Iron

Nutrition
October 23, 2011

Avoid iron deficiency by eating more of these iron-filled foods.

Without enough iron, the body can become unhealthy and fatigued. The average adult female needs 18 milligrams of iron, daily. While most people know that iron is an important part of their daily diet, they don’t always know where to get it. Iron exists all around us and even in every cell in our body. Here are the top 10 foods highest in iron, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

1. Drained clams. At a whopping 23.8 milligrams of iron for 3 ounces, clams come in at the top of the list. Kind of makes you crave a white pizza pie or maybe a little linguini with clam sauce, no?

2. Cold cereal. Fortified dry cereal can contain from 21.1 to 1.8 milligrams of iron in a serving, or 1 ounce.

3. Oysters. Cooked oysters are not just for lovers, they’re for lovers of iron. Each 3-ounce portion will offer about 10.2 ounces of pure iron power.

4. Organ meats. Liver and onions, anyone? Organ meats such as liver and giblets are rich sources of iron. Three ounces of cooked liver contains up to 9.9 milligrams of iron.

5. Oatmeal or other fortified hot cereal packets. Mom was right, as always. Eat your hot cereal each morning and get up to 8.1 milligrams of iron per packet.

6. Soybeans. Soybeans actually contain an impressive 4.4 milligrams of iron. Getting that much iron from a plant is a pretty healthy option.

7. Pumpkin seeds. Carve up a pumpkin, but don’t toss those seeds. Toast them in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes for an iron-rich snack. One ounce of pumpkin or squash seed kernels cooked this way will provide 4.2 milligrams of iron.

8. White beans, canned. One cup of canned white beans offers about 3.9 milligrams of iron. Make a white bean hummus with a little garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice and the drained beans. Quickly puree everything in a blender. Serve with pita chips and snack into iron.

9. Blackstrap molasses. A spoonful of sugar helps the medicines go down but a spoonful of blackstrap molasses is a uniquely sweet way to get your iron. Sip a tablespoon or stir into your coffee or tea and obtain 3.5 milligrams of concentrated iron without even knowing it.

10. Lentils anyone? If you love Indian food, getting your iron should be no problem. A half-cup of cooked lentils are packed with 3.3 milligrams of iron. Make a soup with some chicken broth and a handful of fresh, baby spinach for a tasty boost of iron.

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