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10 Iron-Rich Foods

If you’re tired of being tired, you may need to add more foods high in iron to your diet. An iron-rich diet can help you feel like you again.

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When we don’t get enough iron, we can develop iron-deficiency anemia. This causes a low red blood cell count, which causes us to feel tired and weak. Feel like yourself again by eating these iron-rich foods. And for an extra boost, make more cast iron skillet recipes. Believe it or not, you’ll actually consume some iron that way.

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Baby spinach leaves in a bowl on dark backgroundcolnihko/Shutterstock


Adding one serving of cooked spinach to your dinner will increase your iron intake for the day. It’s super easy to do with these superfood spinach recipes. And lucky for us, it’s also rich in vitamin C and antioxidants. Talk about nutrient-packed!

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Assortment of beans and lentils in wooden spoon on wooden background. mung bean, groundnut, soybean, red kidney bean , black bean ,red bean and brown pinto beansKerdkanno/Shutterstock


Lentils contain non-heme iron, which just means the iron is derived from a plant source. It’s harder to absorb this type than iron derived from animals, but it’s still a good source of iron. Vegetarians, try swapping meat for lentils in these tasty lentil tacos.

Check out seven more reasons to love lentils.

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Close up Wooden Chopping Board with Raw Beef Meat on a Rustic Table with Herbs and SpicesShutterstock / stockcreations


Eating red meat is a fast way to boost your iron levels. It contains heme iron (derived from animals), which our bodies absorb easily. Try one of our favorite slow cooker beef recipes when you experience low iron levels to bring it back up.

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Fresh sardines. Fish with vegetables. Mediterranean fish on platemythja/Shutterstock
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Whether you like them or not, sardines are a good source of iron. Just 3 ounces of canned sardines contain about 2 milligrams of iron. If that doesn’t float your boat, oysters, clams and haddock are also high in iron…and they boast lots of other health benefits, too.

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Kidney, garbanzo, navy and black beans are full of iron. And that’s not all. Beans are also a good meat substitute since they’re high in protein. So, stock up and bookmark 100 ways to use canned beans.

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America has fallen in love with kale. This super food is everywhere nowadays, and we’re happy to see it. Besides containing a healthy dose of iron, it is also a good source of fiber, protein, calcium and vitamins A, C and B6. Learn how to get more leafy greens in your diet.

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Delicious ripe apricots in a wooden bowl on the table close-up.AS Food studio/Shutterstock

Dried Apricots

Dried apricots make an appearance in a lot of Mediterranean dishes, like this Casablanca chicken. This is a great meal for pregnant women, who need more iron than usual.

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Broccoli in the basketShutterstock / Nina Esk


Not only does broccoli contain a good amount of iron, it is also a good source of vitamin C, which actually helps our bodies absorb the iron. Broccoli is really looking out for us! If you’re not already a fan of broccoli, try these broccoli recipes even picky eaters will love.

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Pumpkin Seeds

One of our favorite things about fall is carving pumpkins and roasting the seeds afterward. Pumpkin seeds (aka pepitas) make a delicious snack that’s also quite nutritious. One ounce contains about 4 milligrams of iron. So, if you’re feeling sluggish due to a low red blood cell count, snack on some pepitas.

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dark chocolate chunks in wooden bowl, on oak table;GCapture/Shutterstock

Dark Chocolate

More and more studies recommend having a little dark chocolate every day. We can get on board with that, especially since there are so many health benefits. It contains about 3 milligrams of iron per one ounce, as well as antioxidants and prebiotic fiber that encourages a healthy gut. More chocolate, please!

Emily Racette Parulski
Emily Racette Parulski is a Senior Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in email newsletters. When she’s not writing about food, she’s baking something sweet to feed her chocolate obsession.