13 surprising sources of iron


13 surprising sources of iron
To mark World Iron Awareness Week, we round up 13 foods you might not know are high in iron. 

From lean meats, to vegetarian and vegan-friendly foods, there are plenty of sources of iron for all kinds of diets.

Iron deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency around the world, with an estimated 30 per cent of the global population suffering from a lack of iron.

It’s a deficiency that’s particularly prevalent among women, teenage girls and children.

When it comes to the sources of iron there are two types: heme and non-heme. Heme iron is sourced from animals, while non-heme is found in plants.

While heme iron is typically absorbed faster, non-heme is still a perfectly adequate source of iron.

Take a look at the common foods that are high in iron.

13 surprising sources of iron

  • Fortified cereals. A great source of iron for vegetarians, fortified cereals are an easy way to get your daily iron intake.
  • Shellfish are one of the common foods that are high in iron, with clams, oysters and mussels topping the list in iron count.
  • Spinach. Alongside its many health benefits, spinach is a vegetarian-friendly source of iron. About 100 grams of raw spinach offer 15 per cent of the daily value of iron.
  • Egg yolks contain both heme and non-heme iron, making them a great source of iron in your diet.
  • Legumes. Rich in folate, magnesium and potassium, legumes like black beans, lentils and chickpeas are also high in iron.
  • Red meat is probably the most widely-known source of iron and for good reason. About 100 grams of red meat provides 15 per cent of the daily value of iron. Liver meat, like beef liver, is particularly high in iron, offering 36 per cent of the daily value for every 100 grams.
  • Pumpkin seeds. Snacking on pumpkin seeds is a great way to get your iron intake, with 25 grams providing 14 per cent of the daily value.
  • Quinoa. A popular grain that’s also gluten-free, quinoa is packed with iron, as well as folate, magnesium, copper and other great nutrients.
  • Turkey. For a leaner meat option that’s high in iron, try turkey, particularly the dark meat.
  • Broccoli. A superfood in the vegetable family, broccoli is full of non-heme iron, alongside vitamin C, vitamin K and folate.
  • Tofu. Made from soy, tofu is a versatile ingredient that’s a great source of iron for vegetarians, providing almost 20 per cent of the daily value of iron per 126 grams.
  • Dark chocolate. In case you needed an excuse to indulge in a sweet treat, it turns out dark chocolate is high in iron. Opt for chocolate with 70 per cent or higher cocoa to get the best nutritional value.
  • Fish like tuna are particularly high in iron, while also providing the essential omega-3 fatty acids and selenium.



Let us keep you up to date with our weekly MiNDFOOD e-newsletters which include the weekly menu plan, health and news updates or tempt your taste buds with the MiNDFOOD Daily Recipe.