Iron is an important trace element needed, among other things, for the absorption and transport of oxygen. Women should consume about 15 milligrams of iron daily, 10 milligrams are recommended for men. Iron is present in both plant and animal foods, but the body can better utilize animal iron. Those who eat purely vegetable food, therefore, must consume large amounts of iron-containing foods.
Food as an iron supplier
Calcium, magnesium and certain substances found in some legumes or cereals, for example, inhibit the uptake of iron in the intestine. By taking vitamin C at the same time, iron absorption can be supported and the effect of the inhibitors weakened. Therefore, meals that combine iron-containing foods with peppers, potatoes or juices are ideal.
Here is an overview of the ten best iron suppliers and their iron content per 100 grams:
1. liver (up to 30 milligrams)
Liver is the animal food with the highest iron content. The iron content depends on the type of liver:
- Duck liver: 30 milligrams
- Pork liver: 22.1 milligrams
- Calf's liver: 7.9 milligrams
- Liverwurst: 5.2 milligrams
2. Wheat bran (16 milligrams)
With an average of 16 milligrams, wheat bran is the most ferrous cereal product. In contrast, other bran flakes deliver only half as much iron, and oatmeal even only 4.6 milligrams per 100 grams. In breakfast, the cereal flakes combine well with juice or berries, whose vitamin C promotes the absorption of iron.
3. pumpkin seeds (12.1 milligrams)
Pumpkin seeds contain not only a lot of iron, but also many vitamins. They taste delicious in cereals, salads or soups.
4th sesame (10 milligrams)
10 milligrams of the valuable trace element iron are found in sesame seeds, which also contain many vitamins. The spicy seeds are used for example in muesli bars, hummus or sweet baked goods.
5. Legumes (up to 8.6 milligrams)
Soybeans have an iron content of about 8.6 milligrams, but also contain a protein that reduces the absorption of iron in the body. Dried lentils have an iron content of 6.9 milligrams and thus have three times as much iron as canned lentils. Other legumes are also excellent suppliers of iron, for example:
- Mung beans: 6.8 milligrams
- White beans: 6 milligrams
- Peas: 5 milligrams
6. Linseed (8.2 milligrams)
Linseed is known for its high fiber content and its digestive effect. But their high iron content makes them a valuable part of a healthy diet.
7. Pseudo-cereals: quinoa and amaranth
The cereal-like grains Quinoa and Amaranth are ranked 7th among the richest in iron with an iron value of 8 and 7.6 milligrams, respectively. Similar to millet, which also has an iron content of 5.9 milligrams, the two gluten-free seed types are great as an accompaniment to meat, fish and vegetables.
8. Pistachios (7.5 milligrams)
In addition to their high iron content, pistachio kernels are especially valuable because of their unsaturated fatty acids. They are suitable for use in pesto, snacks, ice cream or as a small snack in between.
9. Chicken egg yolks (7.2 milligrams)
Egg yolks are a good source of iron, especially if you do not eat the eggs as a whole. The egg white contains inhibitors for the absorption of iron.
10. chanterelles (6.5 milligrams)
At 6.5 milligrams per 100 grams, fresh chanterelles contain plenty of iron - in the dried form even more. So they are clearly ahead of other mushrooms: mushrooms, for example, provide only about 1 gram of the valuable trace element.
Iron in spices and herbs
Measured by their iron content per 100 grams some herbs and spices beat the mentioned food by far. However, since they are usually consumed only in small quantities, they ultimately hardly weigh as an iron supplier. Among others, the following representatives of this category have a high iron value:
- Cardamom: 100 milligrams
- Parsley (dried): 97.8 milligrams
- Spearmint (dried): 87.5 milligrams
- Cinnamon: 38.1 milligrams
- Nettles (dried): 32.3 milligrams
Anyone who pays attention to the iron content of foods when putting together their diet does not need to worry about iron deficiency and can confidently refrain from taking iron supplements.