Anemia rich-iron food

Which food containing iron is good for anemia?


Meat is not the only iron-rich option

To make a diet rich in iron you have to go beyond the advice of ” to eat meat because it is rich in iron”, because only from meat we can not assume the daily requirements of this mineral, so you will want to eat other foods rich in iron, both of vegetable and animal origin.

Observing a table of food composition, we can see that, indeed, some meats contain a lot of iron, but not all meats are rich in iron, and in addition, there are other foods with more iron than meat or even more nutritious.

Next we are going to review which foods are more interesting for anemia. We will first mention the foods of animal origin and then the vegetarian and vegan options.


What are the foods richest in iron for anemia?

Liver is the richest food in iron , being an authentic supplement of most vitamins and minerals. If it is consumed, it is recommended to buy it from animals of known, ecological or pasture origin.

Due to its high content of vitamin A, it is also not advisable to abuse this food and it should be consumed infrequently (the excess of vitamin A is toxic).


Photo of sardines, rich in iron, calcium and all the vitamins of group B

Within the group of meats, only red meats are rich in iron. In contrast, white meats contain very little iron, so they have a paler color (for example, an egg has more iron than a chicken serving).

Regardless of its iron content, all meats are very nutritious, because they provide many proteins and B vitamins, necessary for the creation of red blood cells. Therefore, white meats are not contraindicated, although they do not have much iron.

Processed meats, like hamburgers and blood sausages, are rich in iron. It is recommended to consume them very infrequently due to its content of salt, fats and carcinogenic additives.

Fish and seafood are rich in iron

Shellfish is one of the foods with the highest iron content. For example, a ration of clams, mussels or prawns, exceeds the iron content of red meat.

Within the group of fishes, sardines and fatty fish of small size are very nutritious, especially if they are consumed with the spine, which is where there is the greatest richness in iron, folic acid, calcium and vitamins of group B. Tuna, Salmon and other fatty fish (oily fish), also have a generous supply of iron, superior to that of white meats.

Do eggs contain iron?

Egg is a very nutritious protein food and highly recommended for anemia. The yolk is the part that concentrates more iron from the egg, and also the part that has more cholesterol. However, we should not believe the myth of the egg raises cholesterol, which has been denied and tested in various studies.


Eggs are very nutritious and suitable for anemia

Eggs are very advisable for its content in vitamin A (necessary to form protein and muscle) and vitamin D. These two vitamins are not found in abundance in the meat, so, in this sense, eggs have some nutritional advantages to the meat. For anemia it is recommended to consume it in rations of 2 eggs: vegetable omelet, scrambled eggs of asparagus and mushrooms, etc.

Are dairy products good for anemia?

Dairy products are poor in iron, which does not mean that it is not interesting to consume them, since they are very nutritious and provide high biological value proteins and many B vitamins.

iron food
List of food rich in iron


What foods rich in iron do vegetarians and vegans have?

As mentioned, dairy and eggs do not contain practically iron, therefore, vegetarians have to resort to the same sources of iron as vegans, that is, those that are not of animal origin.

People who eat meat must also attend to what other vegetable foods are iron-rich , since not only eating meat can they take on the daily requirements of this mineral. Among foods rich in iron of vegetable origin we have:

Nuts and seeds with a lot of iron

Nuts and seeds have a very high iron content, so it is recommended to all people with anemia to consume seeds in each of their meals.

Sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts are rich in iron. They are suitable raw or toasted. Nuts with salt or fried are not recommended.

Beetroot hummus

Beetroot hummus is an excellent sauce for anemics

Legumes and cereals and their iron content

Within the group of legumes, lentils and chickpeas are the most recommended for anemia, both for its high content of proteins, vitamins and minerals such as iron, as well as its low content of antinutrients.

Antinutrients are components that prevent the assimilation of iron. Lentils and chickpeas have little of these mineral sequestrants and are the ones with more iron and better digestibility.

Are cereals good for anemia?

Cereals do not contain practically iron, except oat flakes, which would be very suitable, for example, inside a muesli, mixed with nuts, to be taken at breakfast.

Seaweed for anemia

Seaweed is another important source of minerals in the diet, including iron. Consuming them from time to time can help enrich the diet in iron and many other minerals, electrolytes and trace elements.

Due to its high mineral concentration, it is sufficient to take them in small doses, and as long as there is no contraindication.

Natural supplements of iron, proteins and vitamin B for anemia

In addition to foods rich in iron , both, vegetarians and omnivores, may be recommended to consume some supplements to provide an extra dose of these nutrients:brewer's yeast
Photo of brewer’s yeast: nutritious and rich in iron

  • Brewer’s yeast: It provides proteins, many B vitamins and iron. You can find brands enriched in B12 for vegetarians. It is taken in flakes, sprinkling 1 teaspoon on the meals (creams, rice, …), as if it were Parmesan cheese (2 – 4 teaspoons a day).
  • Spirulina: With properties similar to yeast, although in this case it is an algae. It can be taken in tablets or added to powder in recipes (smoothies, soups, pesto sauce, tortillas, …)

* Go on reading:

  1. Types of iron for anemia
  2. Food with vitamins for anemia
  3. Bad food for anemia
  4. Is it enough to eat iron-rich food to avoid anemia?
  5. Tea and coffee for anemia
  6. Beet for anemia

punto rojo More information on anemia.

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

7 May, 2021

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