Iron is an essential component of a well-balanced diet because it helps your body produce a substance called hemoglobin, which allows your body to transfer oxygen from the lungs to its tissues. It really shouldn’t be too difficult to make sure you’re eating enough iron because most iron-rich foods are popular, inexpensive, and easy to prepare. You need to consume 15-18 miligrams of iron a day, depending on your age, so here are 10 foods to get you started.
This delicacy contains 3.5 miligrams of iron per serving, so both your health and your tastebuds will enjoy this shellfish. There are many ways you can prepare oysters, including raw, baked, chargrilled, or tossed in a creamy oyster stew.
- Red Meat
Red meats, which includes beef and venison, have gotten a bad rap lately in the health world, but they do have one saving grace: 2.1 miligrams of iron per serving. Red meat is very versatile, so you can shape it into burgers, throw some in a stew, or simply grill a piece of steak. Try to choose lean cuts of meat so that you don’t cancel out the healthiness of the iron.
Chicken is one of the healthiest proteins you can eat for many reasons, and one of those is that it contains .7 miligrams of iron per serving. Resist the temptation to fry it; instead, throw some marinated chicken on the grill, in the oven, or toss it with some pasta and a low-fat Italian sauce.
This delectable fish contains .7 miligrams of iron per serving, and it also provides you with healthy fats. Bake a piece of salmon with lemon, a little butter, and asparagus wrapped in foil for a flavorful, well-balanced meal.
It can be difficult to prepare tofu in a tasty way, but if you can manage it, you can enjoy 3.5 miligrams of iron in a serving. The key to making tofu is marinating it in sauces and spices, such as honey and sriracha or soy sauce and garlic, before serving it with rice or stir-fried veggies.
Chickpeas, which are sometimes called garbanzo beans, have been steadily growing in popularity, and they have 2.1 miligrams of iron in a serving. If you don’t feel like preparing them yourself, treat yourself to a serving of hummus and pita chips. If you want to cook, try out something simple, such as a chickpea-and-sweet-potato burger.
This versatile vegetable contains more than 2.1 miligrams of iron in a serving, so even if you top it with cheese, don’t feel guilty about it. Other ways to enjoy broccoli include roasting it with garlic and parmesan or turning large stalks into baked "broccoli tots" for a healthier version of your favorite snack.
This dark green, leafy vegetable has many health benefits, including .7 miligrams of iron in a single serving. Forgo the fatty spinach dip and instead enjoy a spinach omelette, spinach and white bean soup, or a simple spinach salad.
We could go on forever about the health benefits of nuts, and one of those perks is that almonds have .7 miligram of iron in a serving. Enjoy them by the handful or toss them with some raisins, peanuts, sunflower seeds, and a few M&Ms.
- Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin spice is all the rage, so why not show pumpkin seeds some love? When roasted, they are delicious and have 2.1 miligrams of iron in a serving. Toss some with cinnamon sugar for a sweet treat or with salted butter, garlic butter, and cayenne pepper for a savory snack.