- Take the Blood Disorders Quiz
- Patient Comments: Iron Deficiency - Signs and Symptoms
- Patient Comments: Iron Deficiency - Detection
- Patient Comments: Iron Deficiency - Treatment
- Find a local Doctor in your town
- Iron and iron deficiency facts*
- What is iron and why do we need it?
- What is iron deficiency and why is it a concern?
- What causes iron deficiency?
- Who is most at risk for iron deficiency?
- What are the signs and symptoms of iron deficiency?
- How is iron deficiency diagnosed?
- How is iron deficiency treated?
- Can iron deficiency be prevented?
- Young children (aged 1-5 years)
- Adolescent girls and women of childbearing age
- Pregnant women
- How much iron do I need?
- What are dietary sources of iron?
- Dietary sources of Vitamin C
- Iron overload and hemochromatosis
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Dietary Sources of Iron
Food Sources of Iron ranked by milligrams of iron per standard amount; also calories in the standard amount. (All amounts listed provide 10% or more of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for teenage and adult females, which is 18 mg/day.)
|Food, Standard Amount||Iron (mg)||Calories|
|Clams, canned, drained oz||23.8||126|
|Fortified dry cereals (various), about 1 oz||1.8 to 21.1||54 to 127|
|Cooked oysters, cooked, 3 oz||10.2||116|
|Organ meats (liver, giblets), cooked, 3 oz||5.2 to 9.9||134 to 235|
|*Fortified instant cooked cereals (various), 1 packet||4.9 to 8.1||Varies|
|*Soybeans, mature, cooked, ½ cup||4.4||149|
|*Pumpkin and squash seed kernels, roasted, 1 oz||4.2||148|
|*White beans, canned, ½ cup||3.9||153|
|*Blackstrap molasses, 1 Tbsp||3.5||47|
|*Lentils, cooked, ½ cup||3.3||115|
|*Spinach, cooked from fresh, ½ cup||3.2||21|
|Beef, chuck, blade roast, cooked, 3 oz||3.1||215|
|Beef, bottom round, cooked, 3 oz||2.8||182|
|*Kidney beans, cooked, ½ cup||2.6||112|
|Sardines, canned in oil, drained, 3 oz||2.5||177|
|Beef, rib, cooked, 3 oz||2.4||195|
|*Chickpeas, cooked, ½ cup||2.4||134|
|Duck, meat only, roasted, 3 oz||2.3||171|
|Lamb, shoulder, cooked, 3 oz||2.3||237|
|*Prune juice, ¾ cup||2.3||136|
|Shrimp, canned, 3 oz||2.3||102|
|*Cowpeas, cooked, ½ cup||2.2||100|
|Ground beef, 15% fat, cooked, 3 oz||2.2||212|
|*Tomato puree, ½ cup||2.2||48|
|*Lima beans, cooked, ½ cup||2.2||108|
|*Soybeans, green, cooked, ½ cup||2.2||127|
|*Navy beans, cooked, ½ cup||2.1||127|
|*Refried beans, ½ cup||2.1||118|
|Beef, top sirloin, cooked, 3 oz||2.0||156|
|*Tomato paste, ¼ cup||2.0||54|
Food Sources of iron are ranked by milligrams of iron per standard amount; also calories in the standard amount. (All amounts listed provide 10% or more of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for teenage and adult females, which is 18 mg/day.)
High in cholesterol.
*These are non-heme iron sources. To improve absorption, eat these with a vitamin-C rich food.
Source: USDA/HHS Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2005 Nutrient values from Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 17. Foods are from ARS single nutrient reports, sorted in descending order by nutrient content in terms of common household measures. Food items and weights in the single nutrient reports are adapted from those in the 2002 revision of USDA Home and Garden Bulletin No. 72, Nutritive Value of Foods. Mixed dishes and multiple preparations of the same food item have been omitted from this table.