Our Favourite Iron Rich Foods

We all need iron to stay healthy but many of us need different amounts of it. To see how much iron you need to stay healthy, visit our facts about iron page. Spatone® Liquid Iron is a great way to top up your iron levels and maintain robust health, however we recommend you should still aim to get as much of it as possible from a healthy and balanced diet.

With regards to dietary iron there are two types; haem and non-haem. Haem iron, which is most easily absorbed by the human body, comes from animal foods and has an absorption rate of 20-25%.1 Non haem, which is less easily absorbed, comes from plants. The absorption of iron can be hindered by calcium, tannins, and dairy but also improved with vitamin C. Here we’ll show you some of the most iron rich foods* around so you can incorporate them into your daily regimen and reap their many benefits. 


Spinach contains non-haem iron. However in its raw form also contains oxalic acid which binds to iron and makes it harder for the body to absorb. When spinach is cooked the oxalic acid is released and the iron becomes much more bioavailable.

  • A cup of raw spinach - 0.8 mg of iron

Liver is an excellent source of iron but just as no two species are created equally, neither are their livers. This means that the livers of different animals contain different amounts of iron, as you can see in the examples below.

  • 3oz chicken – 11mg of haem iron
  • 3oz beef – 5mg of iron
  • 3oz pork – 16mg of iron
  • 3oz lamb – 9.5mg of iron

Being plant-based, beans contain non-haem iron, which has a lower absorption rate than haem iron. As with spinach, boiling beans improves the bioavailability of their associated iron content.

  • 1 cup of boiled lentils – 6.6mg of iron
  • 1 cup of kidney beans – 5.2mg of iron
  • 1 cup of lima beans – 4.5mg of iron
  • 1 cup of boiled black beans – 3.6 mg of iron

The aphrodisiac qualities of oysters may be open to debate but their iron content surely isn’t. These are excellent sources of iron.

  • 3oz oysters – 5.9mg of iron
White rice

If you’re looking for a dietary method to boost your iron levels you could do much worse than to increase your intake of white rice.

  • 1 cup – 8mg of iron
Pumpkin seeds

Not only are pumpkin seeds good sources of iron, but they make a great healthy snack during the day.

  • 100g – 3.3mg of iron
Sesame seeds

As far as seeds go, the iron content of sesame seeds is among the highest to be found.

  • 100g – 14.6mg of iron
Dark chocolate

You now have a viable and guilt free excuse for snacking on chocolate as this food is loaded with iron!

  • 100g – 8mg of iron

Why not try iron-rich smoothies, including some of these fruits to start your day off right, you can also mix in Spatone® Liquid Iron with your smoothie for an extra boost of iron.

Dried apricots

Dried apricots are high in iron but like all dried fruits, they’re high in sugar so use sparingly.

  • 1 cup – 8mg of iron
Dried coconut

As well as being high in iron, dried coconut is also a good source of vitamin C, E, B6 and selenium.

  • 100g – 3mg of iron

Relative to other fruits, raspberries contain good amounts of iron; but they also have vitamin C which is known to boost the body’s ability to absorb iron.

  • 1 cup – 0.8mg of iron

Prunes are another fruit that contain a decent amount of iron, but they’re also high in sugar so eat them in moderation.

  • 1 cup 1.6mg

A balanced diet is one of the main keys to staying healthy and getting your daily allowance of iron. If you do need some extra help getting your daily intake of iron, then try our Spatone® Liquid Iron supplement. It’s an easy and convenient way to help elevate your iron levels.

Always read the label and use only as directed. Iron supplementation may be of assistance where dietary iron intake is inadequate.

*Please note that the amount of iron next to each food refers to the total it contains, not how much of it the body absorbs. Nutrient reference values of all foods taken from the USDA.

1 - Jim McMorran, Damian Crowther, Stew McMorran, Steve Youngmin, Ian Wacogne, Jon Pleat, Clive Prince, G. (2011, July 20). Haem and non-haem iron. Retrieved January 17, 2018, from https://www.gpnotebook.co.uk/simplepage.cfm?ID=x20110720105313880069

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