Fruits & Vegetables High in Iron

Fruits & Vegetables High in Iron


  1. Fruits and vegetables provide a non-heme, plant instead of animal based, form of iron. The body does not absorb this type of iron as efficiently as heme iron. Iron is absorbed more readily when consumed as foods that also contain Vitamin C, or in addition to foods high in Vitamin C.


    • Artichokes are Mediterranean in origin. According to the California Artichoke Advisory Board, most of the artichokes grown in the United States come from farms in Monterey County, CA. The edible parts of an artichoke are limited. They are the inside of the petals which pull away easily once the artichoke is cooked; the inner portion of stem; and the heart. The heart rests beneath the purple choke; the choke should be scooped out with a spoon and discarded. One whole artichoke prepared by boiling provides 3.9 milligrams of iron.



    • Spinach is available year round. It can be found canned, fresh and bagged in most local markets. U.S. crops usually come from California or Texas. Markets and food manufacturers use three varieties of spinach,flat leaf, savoy and semi-savoy. Flat leaf spinach has smooth triangular leaves. The savoy spinach leaves are curly and the semi-savoy slightly less curly. One cup of cooked spinach contains 6.4 milligrams of iron.


    Swiss Chard

    • Swiss chard originated in Switzerland. It is a winter vegetable best planted in late summer. Its flavor is strong and slightly bitter but not unpleasant. Chard mixes in well with salads and soups. Swiss Chard offers 4.0 milligrams of iron per cup.



    • Peaches are cultivated throughout the United States with a good portion of the crops coming from the southeastern U.S. Their high nutrient content and sweet flavor make peaches a popular summer fruit. Eating 10 dried peach halves will add 5.3 milligrams of iron to your diet.



    • Raisins are an easily accessible and portable fruit source of iron. They also provide significant amounts of fiber in the form of inulin which is beneficial to colon health. Raisins also provide a source of antioxidants, phytochemicals and catechins in the diet. Eating about a 1/2 cup of raisins as a snack provides 1.6 milligrams of iron.


    Prune Juice

    • Prune juice provides about 17 percent of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for iron; eight ounces of prune juice contains 3.0 milligrams of iron. Prune juice offers a significant source of the Vitamins A, B-6, and C as well as potassium; unfortunately,it also contains a significantly high percent of sugar.

      Given the sugar content of prune juice, it might seem more reasonable to snack on prunes. This is not the case. Prunes or dried plums assist the body with the absorption of iron, most likely because of their Vitamin C content; however, they do not provide a high amount of iron at .37 milligrams per serving.



    • Beans can be prepared in a variety of ways. They contain protein, fiber and iron. Soybeans, lentils, chickpeas and kidney beans contain 8.8 to 3.0 milligrams of iron. Try them alone, tossed with pasta or salad greens, or add them to soup.


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