Foods rich in iron include red meat, poultry, seafood, green leafy vegetables and dried fruit. The human body will absorb more iron from meat than from any other source, claims Mayo Clinic.
Not getting enough iron in the diet may result in anemia, a condition in which the blood a lower number of red blood cells than normal. Symptoms of anemia include dizziness, headaches, shortness of breath and fatigue, according to the National Institutes of Health. Anemia results in the body not getting enough oxygen rich blood.
Most anemia is short-term and will go away by adding iron-rich foods to the diet. Severe or longer-lasting cases may require the use of a supplement to boost iron levels.
Children can also become anemic when they consume too little iron. To increase an infant's iron levels, feed breast milk or an iron-fortified formula. Older babies can eat iron-fortified cereals to keep iron levels at an acceptable level.
To be sure iron is absorbed into the blood, it is best paired with vitamin C. Including foods rich in vitamin C such as leafy greens, oranges, tomatoes, broccoli or kiwi will help the body make the best use of the 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.
Other iron-rich foods include peas, iron-fortified cereal and pasta and beans.