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What are some iron-rich foods?

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Quick Answer

Foods that contain heme iron, the most readily absorbed type of iron by the human body, include meat, fish and poultry. Non-heme iron, which is also good to eat but not as completely absorbed by the body, is present in many vegetables, fruits, beans, grains and legumes. Vegetables that are high in iron include spinach, sweet potatoes, broccoli, beet greens, kale, collard greens and chard.

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Full Answer

Some fruits that are high in iron include strawberries, watermelon, figs, dates and prunes. All types of beans, peas and lentils are also high in iron. Because these are all plant-based non-heme iron sources, only about 2 to 10 percent of the iron they contain is absorbed by the body. Eating foods that are high in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, and red, yellow and orange peppers, can help increase absorption levels in the stomach when eating non-heme iron.

Meat products that contain iron include beef, lamb, pork, veal, liver and ham. Seafood is also high in iron, including shrimp, scallops, oysters, tuna, sardines, mackerel and haddock. Eggs are also a natural source of heme iron. In most individuals, up to 30 percent of the heme iron from these foods can be absorbed.

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