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12 Foods for Fighting Iron-deficiency Anemia

Iron-deficiency anemia can be mild to severe depending on how low the red blood cell count is. We all know that when the body lacks enough RBCs the blood does not carry enough oxygen to all parts and organs of the body as a result. Based on the severity of the anemia, the doctor generally prescribes iron supplements and also recommends to take food that is rich in iron. We have collated a list of 12 iron-rich foods in case you have anemia and are looking to include more iron-rich food in your diet.

12 Iron-rich Food for Anemia

Iron as a nutrient is present in both vegetable and animal source foods. While the iron from animal source is referred to as heme, the iron source from plants is referred to as nonheme. Heme iron is derived from iron contained in hemoglobins of animal source food and hence the name. Our body efficiently absorbs heme iron more readily than nonheme iron. For convenience, we have enlisted the first five iron-rich foods from plant sources (nonheme) for vegetarians and vegans. It is said that the absorption of nonheme iron into the body is enhanced if you take Vitamin C like orange juice along with it.

Anything that is dark in color is rich in iron – raisins, dates, pomegranate,

(1) Dark Leafy Greens

Almost all greens are a good source of iron. The darker the leaves, the more iron-rich they are. Spinach is a superfood with lots of iron content in it. In India, greens like Pasalai, Palak, Amaranth species (Arai Keerai and Siri Keerai) are rich sources of iron.

(2) Cooked Beans

One cup of cooked beans has 3.5 milligrams per serving. The green beans are an easy source of iron for vegetarians and vegans.

(3) Pomegranate

Pomegranate is one of the fruits that comes to the minds of any Indian parents when they talk of anemia. The blood-red color of the inner pearl-like seeds of this fruit is very rich in iron.

(4) Dates & Raisins

Dates and raisins are indeed a very popular choice when it comes to addressing anemia. It has been a tradition of sorts to offer dates and raisins to women. Together with fruits and nuts, they occupy a special place in seer varisai and it is no wonder they are a good source of iron.

(5) Pumpkin Seeds

The green pumpkin seeds are a nutrient-dense food. Around 30 grams of pumpkin seeds can supply 2.1 milligrams of iron to our body.

(6) Dark-colored Veggies

Veggies like beetroot, green or red capsicum, carrot, are a boon to vegetarians and vegans who do not get the iron from animal sources. So by including enough servings of veggies in the diet people can get a good amount of iron.

(7) Blood and Marrow

Blood is prepared in some of our homes. They are thicker in a coagulated state and are an excellent source of heme-iron. Marrow present in bone preparation like bone soup is also an excellent source of iron.

(8) Liver

The liver of lamb and chicken has a very good amount of iron in them. As a matter of fact, they have more than 3.5 milligrams of iron for every 100 grams of the liver.

(9) Sardines

Sardines or Mathi Meen family which include Mathi, Saalai, Kaarapodi, Soodai, Nethili are an amazing source of iron. Besides having omega-3 fatty acids and the required protein, they are rich in many minerals that include iron.

(10) Eggs

We all know that eggs are a known source of protein and good cholesterol. But they also pack with them a good amount of iron. Eggs can be toasted with whole wheat bread or can be had as a sandwich with dark-colored veggies like cucumber, pepper, tomatoes that are also rich in iron.

(11) Chicken

The humble chicken has a good amount of iron in it. 100 gram serving of chicken along with cauliflower, sautéed spinach and tomatoes can supply a good amount of iron to the body.

(12) Red Meat

Any red meat like mutton (lamb), beef and pork are very good sources of iron, apart from the protein and fat they contain.


The root cause of anemia is first studied and treated by your physician. It needs to be emphasized that when a person is anemic, no amount of food, even though they might be termed as a superfood with a rich source of iron can be sufficient to cure the anemic condition. Hence you need to regularly take the iron supplements as recommended by your physician to quickly recover from anemia. Be informed that if your anemia is termed as severe by your physician, then you may have to be under medication for as long as it takes to have your iron content back to normal in your blood. Hence the iron-rich foods recommended here are to be included in your diet mandatorily so that your body is accustomed to getting regular iron.

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