Iron Rich Foods : Grow Your Own Iron Foods

Iron is an important nutrient for a healthy body.  Iron helps to carry oxygen to our brain. If you lack iron, you may be more likely to develop fatigue or anaemia or neurological problems. Incorporate iron rich foods in your daily diet. Choose high iron foods from the list of iron content of vegetables, fruits, legumes, lentils, nuts, seeds, spices and herbs.

Most of the foods high in iron for vegetarians can be grown in your garden.

The daily iron requirement depends on age and gender. If you are a woman, your recommended daily amount of iron is 8 mg. A woman needs 18 mg of iron daily, whereas a pregnant woman may need up to 27 mg. You should aim to take the required amount of iron in your diet.

List of High Iron Foods
High Iron Foods
  1. Keep in mind that iron is not easily absorbed by the body even ir you eat high iron foods. The amount of iron absorbed from vegetarian food is up to 10%, while it is 10 - 20% from animal food. Foods that are rich in vitamin C help to increase iron absorption. Also iron from raw foods is absorbed better.
  2. Vegetarians need to be especially careful, because plant-based sources of iron are not as easily absorbed as iron from animal-based foods.
  3. Vegetables such as capsicum, potato, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, tomato, etc. enhance the iron absorption
  4. Fruits such as cantaloupe, grapefruit, strawberries, orange, etc. help iron absorption.

List of Top Iron Rich Food Sources 

Following are the best iron containing vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and spices.
  1. Pulses & Beans: Chickpeas, black-eye beans, lentils, soybean.
  2. Vegetables: Beetroot greens, mint, parsley, turnip greens, broccoli, bok choy, collard greens and Brussels sprouts, Sea vegetables are high iron foods.
  3. Sea vegetables
  4. Fruits: Apricot, tomatoes, Dried dates, watermelon, raisins
  5. Herbs and Spices: Almost all herbs and spices are high in iron, but note that you can consume only a small amount of spice and herb daily.

Iron in Vegetables
(1/2 cup cooked)
Iron
Sea vegetables 18- 42 mg
Spinach
(Growing spinach)
3.2 mg
Swiss chard 2.0 mg
Potato, baked with skin 1.7 mg
Pumpkin 1.7 mg
Sweet potatoes, canned 1.7 mg
Turnip greens 1.6 mg
Beet greens 1.4 mg
Potato, 1 large
(Growing potatoes)
1.4 mg
Peas 1.2 mg
Brussels Sprouts 0.9 mg
Bok choy 0.7 mg
Tomato juice (growing tomatoes)0.6 mg
Green beans 0.6 mg
Broccoli 0.55 mg
Growing Kale 0.55 mg
Watermelon, 1/8 medium 0.50 mg

Iron in Fruits (100 g) Iron
Tomatoes, sun dried
(Growing tomatoes)
9 mg
Apricots, dried 6 mg
Raisins 3 mg
Mulberries 2.6 mg
Pears, dried 2.1 mg
Figs, dried 2.0 mg
Apples, dried 2.0 mg
Prune juice, 4 oz 1.5 mg

Iron in Legumes
(1/2 cup cooked)
Iron
Chickpeas (200 g) 6.2 mg
Soybeans 4.4 mg
Lentils 3.2 mg
Black eye beans 2.6 mg
Navy beans 2.5 mg
Lima beans 2.2 mg
Pinto beans 2.2 mg
Kidney beans Rajmah 1.5 mg


Herb High In iron
(10 g)
Iron
Thyme, dried12.3 mg
Parsley, dried9.7 mg
Spearmint, dried8.7 mg
Marjoram, dried8.2 mg
Cumin seed6.6 mg
Oregano, dried4.4 mg
Bay leaf4.3 mg
Coriander leaves, dried (Growing coriander)4.2 mg
Basil, dried4.2 mg
Turmeric powder (growing turmeric)4.1 mg
Cinnamon, ground3.8 mg
Anise seed3.6 mg
Fenugreek seed
(Growing fenugreek)
3.3 mg
Curry powder2.9 mg
Rosemary, dried2.9 mg
Black pepper2.8 mg
Paprika2.3 mg


Iron in Nuts & Seeds
(2 tablespoon)
Iron
Pumpkin seeds2.5 mg
Figs, dried, 5 mg2.0 mg
Apricot, dried 51.6 mg
Almond, 1/4 cup1.3 mg
Tahini1.2 mg
Sesame1.2 mg
Sunflower seeds1.2 mg
Cashew nuts1.0 mg


All the spices and herbs are high in iron content, but you must know that you cannot consume too much of these in your diet, not more than 10-20 g.

From the list of iron in species and herbs, you will notice that dried thyme is one of the most iron-rich herbs.

Many vegetables, fruits, legumes and lentils are iron rich. Chickpeas and soybeans are also good sources of iron.

One cup of sunflower seeds gives about half the body's daily iron needs along with plenty of vitamin E.


Grow Your Iron Rich Foods

You can grow your own iron rich foods in your garden. Some of the high iron foods like spinach (growing spinach), potatoes (growing potatoes), peas (growing peas), pumpkins, Broccoli, tomatoes (growing tomatoes), mint (growing mint), turmeric (growing turmeric) etc can even be grown in pots and can be placed in your balconies or terrace.

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