Foods High In Iron + Daily Iron Requirement

Eating foods high in iron, such as red meat or barley bread, can help cure anemia, which is caused by iron deficiency.

However, foods high in iron are important at all stages of your life and should be consumed daily. Especially for pregnant women, infants and elderly people, as these groups have a greater need for iron.

Here you can find a table with foods high in iron, which are separated by animal and vegetable sources:

Food rich in iron from Animal sources ( “heme iron”)

Iron per 100gEnergy per 100g
Spare Ribs
3 mg
260 kcal
Veal3.6 mg230 kcal
Lamb2.2 mg163 kcal
Veal liver
10.6 mg127 kcal
Cooked mussels6 mg78 kcal
Chicken egg yolk5.87 mg
363 kcal
Food rich in iron from vegetable sources (“non-heme iron”)Iron per 100gEnergy per 100g
Barley bread6.5 mg302 kcal
Soy bread
2.3 mg283 kcal
3.1 mg43 kcal
Cooked chickpeas
1.4 mg
121 kcal
Cooked peas
1.9 mg
63 kcal
Cooked lentils
2,44 mg108 kcal
watercress2.6 mg23 kcal
Raw beetroot2.5 mg49 kcal
White beans1.9 mg360 kcal
Black beans
8.6 g343 kcal

Foods high in iron for anemia

Foods rich in iron for anemia include:

  • Food rich in iron from Animal sources, like red meats and eggs. Iron from these foods are absorbed easily
  • Food rich in iron from vegetable sources, like the peas or the parsley. These foods should always be consumed with a source of vitamin C. Choose fruits like an orange, strawberries or sweet peppers to improve the absorption of iron. For example, eat rice with black beans and citrus fruit for the dessert

In addition to food rich in iron, it is also important to follow other feeding tips such as:

  • Avoid eating calcium-rich foods with the main meals such as yogurt, cheese or milk, because calcium is a natural inhibitor of iron absorption
  • Don’t eat wholemeal foods at lunch and dinner, because the phytates present in the cereals and fibres of wholemeal foods, reduces the efficiency of iron absorption in food
  • Stay away from eating sweets, chocolate, drinking red wine and some herbal teas, because they have polyphenols and phytates, which are inhibitors of iron absorption
  • Cooking in an iron pot is a way to increase the amount of iron

Mixing vegetables and fruits to make juice can also be a great way to enrich the diet in iron. Two recipes that are high in iron would be: stewed liver steak and freshly squeezed pineapple juice with fresh parsley.

Daily iron requirement

The daily requirement of iron varies according to age and gender, since women have a greater need for iron than men, especially during pregnancy.

Age groupDaily iron requirement
Babies 7-12 months11 mg
Toddlers 1-3 years7 mg
Kids 4-8 years10 mg
Boys & Girls 9-13 years8 mg
Boys 14-18 years11 mg
Girls 14-18 years15 mg
Men8 mg
Women 19-50 years18 mg
Women after 50 years8 mg
Pregnant women27 mg
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