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Tired all the Time? Maybe You Need More Iron

baked potato, tofu, nuts, chickpeas, mushrooms beans all  foods high in iron

Do you sometimes feel like you wake up tired? Or does your energy completely fizzle out by mid-afternoon? The culprit may be an iron deficiency. It's fairly common among women, and it can definitely have you dragging.

The Recommended Daily Allowance of iron for women between the ages of 19 and 50 is 18 milligrams each day. Men and women in other age groups need about 8 milligrams.

If you have a condition that interferes with nutrient absorption, such as Celiac disease, you may need extra iron.

That's also true if you're pregnant. If you think you might have an iron deficiency, the first step is to talk to your doctor. Then try these 15 foods to help give your iron a boost.

Black Beans or Kidney Beans

Beans contain a whopping 4 milligrams of iron per cup. Eat them as a side dish to Mexican food, stir them into pasta or add them to just about any casserole.

Baked Potato

One medium sized baked potato will give you about 2 milligrams of iron.


This tasty non-wheat grain is excellent served as a substitute for rice. One cup of quinoa gives you 3 milligrams of iron.


If you love clams, you can say goodbye to your iron deficiency. A 3-ounce serving of clams can pack about 20 milligrams of iron. That's enough for a whole day.

Garbanzo Beans or Chickpeas

Tasty garbanzo beans are delicious in a salad and give you 5 milligrams of iron per cup. Also, try putting them in a food processor with some olive oil to create your own iron-rich hummus.


A 3-ounce serving of red meat contains 3 milligrams of iron. An average burger has about 6 ounces of beef.

Dried Apricots

For an iron-filled snack on the go, grab a package of dried apricots. You're getting 2 milligrams of iron per half cup of the fruit.

Cooked Spinach

Spinach is packed with iron. There are 6 milligrams of iron in each cup of cooked spinach. Serve it in pasta, in a meat dish or all by itself with a little salt and garlic.

Dark Turkey Meat

That holiday turkey can pump up your iron. Each 3-ounce serving of dark turkey meat contains about 2 milligrams of iron.

Pumpkin Seeds

Snack on pumpkin seeds instead of potato chips, and you'll be treating yourself to more iron. Just a quarter cup of pumpkin seeds contains 2 milligrams.


This green powerhouse veggie has lots of nutrients, and iron is among them. One cup of cooked broccoli has 1 milligram of iron.


A pack of tofu will give you a shot of iron. A half a cup of tofu contains 3.5 milligrams of iron. If you don't eat meat, this is a good alternative.

Chicken Liver

Animals organs have lots of iron, and chicken liver is a terrific source. Eat 3 ounces of chicken liver for 3.5 milligrams of iron.

Nuts and Legumes

Peanuts, cashews and almonds all contain about 2 milligrams of iron for each 2-ounce serving. Grab a handful to eat with lunch or as a snack on your way out the door.

Dark Chocolate

Decadent dark chocolate has lots of nutrition to offer. One ounce of dark chocolate gives you 3 milligrams of iron, making it a great choice.

These 15 fantastic foods are a good source of iron and delicious as well. Also look for foods like cereal and pasta that have been fortified with iron. Keep in mind that iron found in animal products is easier to absorb than iron from plant sources, which is why vegetarians and vegans may be more likely to be deficient in iron.

Try adding some Vitamin C to your diet for better absorption. Make sure you get the recommended daily dose of iron, and you may just find that you have more energy and exuberance. It could change your life.


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