Anemia due to iron deficiency is a common problem caused by a poor diet, excessive bleeding, or frequent blood donation. Your body requires iron to make red blood cells, but it can be difficult to get an adequate amount from your diet. If you’re tired of eating liver, try these four surprisingly iron-rich foods.
Oysters: Source from the Sea
You probably don’t think of seafood when you think of good sources of iron, but some types of seafood are rich in this vital mineral. Mollusks like oysters contain more iron than other types of seafood. Just three ounces of oysters contains at least one-third of your daily iron needs. The iron in oysters is also an easily-absorbable type called heme iron, which is found in meats and animal products.
Pumpkin Seeds: The Perfect Snack
Not a fan of seafood? Don’t worry because pumpkin seeds are a delicious snack that is also a great source of iron. Just a handful of pumpkin seeds contains about 16 percent of the recommended daily value for iron as well as high amounts of other important minerals like zinc and magnesium. Pumpkin seeds are also portable and affordable, but remember to eat them with foods or drinks high in vitamin C to maximize iron absorption.
Tofu: Vegetarian’s Best Friend
Your favorite vegetarian source of protein is also a great source of iron. A serving of tofu contains about 17 percent of your daily iron requirement plus high amounts of calcium, manganese, and selenium. Like all plant sources of iron, the iron in tofu is best absorbed when combined with vitamin C. Pair tofu with vegetables like broccoli, brussels sprouts, or peppers to get the most out of this iron-rich food.
Dark Chocolate: A Healthy Indulgence
Dark chocolate is a tasty indulgence, but did you know that this sweet treat comes with a host of health benefits? In addition to lowering blood pressure and improving heart health, dark chocolate contains a wide variety of minerals and a hefty 19 percent of your recommended daily value of iron. Because chocolate is calorie-dense and high in fat, enjoy this source of iron in moderation and choose minimally processed, low-sugar varieties.
Although adding iron-rich foods to your diet is a great way to combat anemia, diet alone may not be enough to cure moderate to severe cases. If you need additional iron supplementation, consider a whole food supplement like NeuTerre for better bioavailability and fewer side effects.