Iron rich foods

Perhaps the most important of Iron’s functions in the body is the production of hemoglobin and the oxygenation of red blood cells. It is essential for many enzymes, including catalase, and is important for growth. Iron is also required for a healthy immune system and for energy production.

Iron deficiency can be caused by quite a few different circumstances, including vegetarianism, and the symptoms range from anemia, brittle hair, fatigue, hair loss, and spoon-shaped nails, just to name a few. Because iron is stored in the body, excessive iron intake can also cause major problems. Unless you are diagnosed anemic or have had a blood test, you should NOT take iron supplements. Instead, turn to your diet to supply your daily intake.

Iron Requirements:

Females Males

9-13 years – 8mg 9-13 years 8mg

14-18 years – 15mg 14-18 years 12mg

19-50 years 18mg 19+ years 8mg

50+ years – 8mg

Pregnancy – 27mg

Iron rich foods

  • blackstrap molasses
  • seaweed (spirlina, kelp, dulse, etc.)
  • nuts and seeds (pumpkin, sunflowers, almond, cashews, sesame seeds)
  • eggs (whole, free range)
  • dates
  • quinoa
  • oysters
  • beef liver
  • soybeans/tofu
  • spinach (cooked)
  • lentils
  • meat

Vitamin C increases the absorption of iron by almost 30%. Calcium competes with iron for absorption and usually wins, so separate calcium and iron containing foods.


About Hannah Pidgeon, RHN

Graduated from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition in 2011. Consulting in Charlottetown, PEI. Mama to a beautiful baby girl.
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