There are two types of the mineral iron, heme and non-heme, so you will need an iron rich foods list in order to get both. Heme iron is found in animal products, non-heme iron is found in plant-based foods. Iron deficiency, which causes anemia, is the most common nutrient deficiency in the U.S.. Here is an iron rich list of foods for you to choose from in order to get both types, as your body can only absorb 1 mg of iron for every 10 to 20 mg of iron in any food.
- Red meat, egg yolks and liver are a great source of iron. These foods are rich in heme iron, which is the easiest form for your body to absorb. Eat these foods in moderation, since they are also high in cholesterol and saturated fat.
- Eat seafood and shellfish, especially oysters. Oysters are packed with more than 10 mg of iron per 3 ounce serving, second only to beef liver, which has about 7 mg of iron per 3 ounce serving. These foods will also provide your body with easily absorbable heme iron.
- Eat plenty of dark green leafy vegetables. Enjoy as much spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and greens as you want. They will provide your body with non-heme iron. These iron rich foods are also fat and cholesterol free. Some other vegetable sources of non-heme iron are artichokes, soybeans, lima beans and lentils.
- Drink a little prune juice, eat walnuts, chickpeas and raisins. This is another source of non-heme iron. One half cup of prune juice will provide your body with 5.2 mg of iron, eat the same amount of walnuts and you will get 3.75 mg. One half cup of raisins provides 2.55 mg of iron. Blackstrap molasses is another iron rich food option.
Tip: The best way to get and maintain the proper amount of iron is to eat a balanced diet of the foods listed above. Some foods can block your body's ability to absorb iron and should be avoided when eating iron rich foods, they are coffee, tea, milk and soy protein.