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 found 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 the simultaneous intake of vitamin C. However, iron absorption can support and weaken the effect of the inhibitors. Therefore, meals that combine iron-containing foods with peppers, potatoes or juices are ideal.
By the way: As you know today supplies Spinach, for a long time considered to be the ideal source of iron, much less iron than previously thought. Not only is it just about 3.5 to 4 milligrams instead of the previously believed 35 milligrams of iron per 100 grams of spinach. In addition, it also contains oxalic acid, which is one of the above-mentioned inhibitors and makes iron absorption more difficult.
Below you will get one List 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. By 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 iron absorption.
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 therefore 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 action. 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 in the iron-richest foods 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 a side dish 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. Because the egg white contain inhibitors for the absorption of iron.
10. chanterelles (6.5 milligrams)
At 6.5 milligrams per 100 grams of fresh chanterelles contain plenty of iron - in the dried form even significantly more. So they are clearly ahead of other mushrooms: For example, mushrooms only provide about 1 milligram of the valuable trace element per 100 grams.
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 the food when putting together their diet does not need to fear iron deficiency and can confidently refrain from taking iron supplements.