Do you get enough iron?

Iron is an important component of our blood and immune system. Most of the iron in our bodies is found within hemoglobin, which is a part of a healthy red blood cell. However, the body does not produce iron. All iron is absorbed through the foods we eat, and we only absorb about 10 to 30% of the iron we eat. Iron levels that are too low or too high can contribute to serious health problems. 

If you need to boost your iron levels, one of the ways you can do so is through your diet. Iron found in foods can be either heme or non-heme iron. Heme iron is easily absorbed by the body and is found in animal products, while non-heme iron is found in plants and is not as easily absorbed. Great animal sources of iron include shellfish, fish, red meat, turkey, and liver and other organ meats. Organ meats such as liver, heart, and kidney are highly nutritious and provide high levels of iron, as well as vitamin A and, choline, all of which are important for our health. Plant based sources of non-heme iron include spinach, tofu, dark chocolate, legumes, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, and broccoli.  

Talk to your health care provider about checking your iron levels and before changing your diet or taking any supplements.  

American Red Cross. (2021, November 11). The Importance of Iron in Your Body. 

Spritzler, F. (2023, June 28). 12 Health Foods That Are High in Iron. Healthline.