What Are Some Foods That Are High in Iron?


Quick Answer

Iron is an essential mineral that is naturally found in many foods such as red meat, chicken, pork, beans, tofu, spinach, broccoli, fortified cereals and rice. It is also available as a dietary supplement for people who are iron-deficient.

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Full Answer

Iron is an essential part of hemoglobin, which is a protein found in red blood cells. Hemoglobin carries oxygen from the lungs to the cells and tissues of the human body. Without enough iron in her diet, a person may not be able to create enough hemoglobin molecules, and the blood's oxygen-carrying capacity falls. Iron also supports the metabolism and is necessary for cellular growth and development. Plus, it is essential for the synthesis of many different hormones in the body. Dietary iron comes in heme and nonheme forms. Heme iron is found in animal sources only, such as red meat and chicken, while nonheme iron is found in plants and iron-fortified foods. Heme iron is easier to absorb and digest, and is the main source of iron in most people's diets. To stave off iron deficiency, adult males should consume 8 to 11 milligrams of iron per day, while adult females need 15 to 18 milligrams of iron per day.

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