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.

1 / 11
Sea Wave/Shutterstock

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.

2 / 11
Baby spinach leaves in a bowl on dark background


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!

3 / 11
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 beans


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.

4 / 11
Close up Wooden Chopping Board with Raw Beef Meat on a Rustic Table with Herbs and Spices
Shutterstock / 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.

5 / 11
Fresh sardines. Fish with vegetables. Mediterranean fish on plate
Shutterstock / mythja


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.

6 / 11
Taste of Home


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.

7 / 11
Taste of Home


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.

8 / 11
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.

9 / 11
Broccoli in the basket
Shutterstock / 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.

10 / 11
Cup of roasted pumpkin seeds on top of a green and white towel
Taste of Home

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.

11 / 11
dark chocolate chunks in wooden bowl, on oak table;

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 has spent the last decade writing and editing food and lifestyle content. As a senior editor at Taste of Home, she leads the newsletter team sharing delicious recipes and helpful cooking tips to more than 2 million loyal email subscribers. Since joining TMB seven years ago as an associate editor, she has worked on special interest publications, launched TMB’s first cross-branded newsletter, supported the launch of the brand's affiliate strategy, orchestrated holiday countdowns, participated in taste tests and was selected for a task force to enhance the Taste of Home community. Emily was first mentioned by name in Taste of Home magazine in 1994, when her mother won a contest. When she’s not editing, Emily can be found in her kitchen baking something sweet, taking a wine class with her husband, or making lasagnas for neighbors through Lasagna Love.