Health Topics

Foods High in Iron

Women's diets are often low in iron, especially after menstruation. Eating at least three servings of iron-rich foods a day will help ensure that you are getting enough iron in your daily diet. Iron is found in lean red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, leafy green vegetables, nuts and enriched grain products.

Top 10 foods high in iron

  1. Fortified Cereals - 19.6mg per 3/4 cup
  2. Beef (Skirt Steak) - 9.3mg per 6oz steak
  3. Shellfish (Oysters) - 7.8mg per 3oz serving
  4. Dried Fruit (Apricots) - 7.5mg per cup
  5. Large White Beans - 6.6mg per cup
  6. Spinach - 6.4mg per cup
  7. Baking Chocolate - 5mg per 1oz square
  8. Quinoa - 2.8mg per cup
  9. White Button Mushrooms - 2.7mg per cup cooked
  10. Squash and Pumpkin Seeds - 2.5mg per 1oz handful

Why is Iron Important for Women?

Iron is a mineral that our bodies need in order to carry oxygen throughout the body. Iron deficiency can lead to extreme fatigue and feeling lightheaded.

Our bodies need iron for brain development and growth, and to produce other cells and hormones in the body. During a woman's menstrual cycle, women tend to lose more iron. The daily recommended amount if iron for menstruating women is 18 milligrams a day. Menopausal women should aim for 8 milligrams of iron daily.

Your hair follicles need iron (and protein) to produce strong, healthy hair. A diet that has inadequate amounts of these nutrients can result in poor hair growth. Keeping iron/ferritin levels around 50-70 helps with hair growth - and energy.

If you are worried about iron deficiency, talk to your doctor about what is best for you.