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7 Iron-Rich Foods to Fight Anaemia & Other Deficiency Symptoms

September 6, 2022

It’s now slowly making sense why Popeye, a wisecracking cartoon sailor, would eat a can of spinach before fighting villains. It turns out it’s the same with defeating another type of real-life enemy called anaemia.

Iron deficiency anaemia, as the name implies, is a common form of anaemia caused by insufficient iron. That doesn’t sound too bad until you realise without enough iron in your blood, the rest of your body would not get an adequate amount of oxygen. As a result, you may feel various symptoms like tiredness, dizziness, and headaches.

Unfortunately, your body can store iron but cannot make it. It is an essential nutrient, meaning you must get it from your food. Luckily, there are various foods that can help you meet your daily iron needs.

Here are seven iron-rich foods to reduce your risk of anaemia and other deficiency symptoms.


1. Spinach


We mentioned spinach earlier as Popeye’s source of superhuman strength, so let’s try to give it more justice.

Spinach is a superfood that contains about 2.7 milligrams of iron per 3.5 ounces. That’s 15% of the daily value (DV). It’s also rich in vitamin C, which, by the way, helps improve iron absorption, so we believe that is a bonus.


2. Shellfish


Shellfish — particularly clams, mussels, and oysters — are excellent sources of iron. A 3.5-ounce serving of clams, for example, may contain up to 3mg of iron which is 17% of the DV.

Shellfish are also high in certain micronutrients, including vitamin B12, zinc and magnesium. It’s another handful of good reasons to love seafood!


3. Liver


Organ meats are not just tasty but also some of the most nutritionally dense foods on the planet. One of which is liver. A 3.5-ounce serving of beef liver can provide 36% of the DV or 6.5mg of iron.

Liver is also packed with folate, copper, vitamin B and A. It literally offers a powerful punch of health benefits.


4. Red meat


Eating red meat is one of the most satiating and satisfying ways to meet your daily iron needs. A 3.5-ounce serving gives 2.7mg of iron or 15% of the DV.

Researchers suggest that people who regularly eat meat, poultry and fish are less likely to suffer from iron deficiency.


5. Pumpkin seeds


Pumpkin seeds are budget-friendly foods that are highly nutritious and can help you cut your chances of having iron deficiency. A 1-ounce serving of this type of seed contains 2.5mg of iron. That is already 14% of the DV. They are also loaded with vitamin K, manganese, zinc, and phosphorus.


6. Broccoli


Broccoli is extremely nutritious, and we bet you already knew it. Cooked broccoli provides 6% of the DV for iron per 156 grams of serving. In addition, it boasts a whopping 112% of the DV for vitamin C, which helps your body absorb iron better.


7. Tofu


Tofu is a vegetarian meat substitute that is made of condensed soy milk. It contains 19% of the DV for iron per 126-gram serving. It is also high in other nutrients such as protein, calcium and manganese in relatively few calories.



Children and menstruating women are particularly prone to iron-deficiency anaemia. To ensure your family meets their daily iron needs, consider incorporating some of the foods we suggest in your diet. Likewise, remember to include vitamin C as it helps boost your body’s iron absorption.


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