Fueling your body with iron that’s readily found in everyday food is perhaps the easiest way to tackle iron deficiency. There are a wealth of iron-rich sources that can effortlessly replenish your body's stores. Read on to learn more about these foods and gain valuable tips on preventing iron deficiency.

No matter how much we teach ourselves about proper nutrition and dieting, everybody could use a bit of direction when it comes to keeping their iron levels in check. Iron deficiency is one condition that should never be taken lightly - as it can lead to constant fatigue and an overall lack of energy. Luckily for those dealing with insufficient levels, there are five groups of food for iron deficiency you can incorporate into your everyday diet to avoid any future complications. In this article, we're diving into the best iron-packed sources, along with a few pointers on how you can keep your iron levels regulated.

What is Iron Deficiency?
Our bodies rely on iron, a mineral we can't produce on our own, mainly to create hemoglobin, a protein that transports oxygen throughout our body. Having insufficient amounts may lead to iron deficiency, meaning less oxygen reaches other organs. If left untreated, this can lead to anemia, which can impact daily activities.

The main causes of iron deficiency are:
•    Lack of iron in the diet
•    Inadequate absorption of nutrients
•    Chronic issues like celiac disease

Food Groups to Include for managing Iron Deficiency
Listed below are a few groups of foods good for anemia management.

Food group Food source Amount of Vitamin C (mg) in 100g Recipe
Cereals and Millets Amaranth seeds 8.02 Cereals and millets are amazing sources of food for iron deficiency management, which can be cooked in the form of Bajra dal khichdi, rajgeera porridge, amaranth paneer paratha
Bajra 6.42
Ragi 4.62
Pulses and Dals Soyabean 8.29 Many pulses are considered food that is good for anemia and can be had as a soyabean curry, dal khichdi, chana usal dry.
Dal 7.06
Bengal gram 6.78
Rajmah (red) 6.13
Non-vegetarian food Eggs (boiled) 1.87 Meat is one of the best food for iron deficiency. You may prepare any of these tasty dishes: Egg masala dry, Hyderabadi chicken curry, palak chicken curry, hot Thai chicken wings, lamb chops.
Chicken liver 9.92
Chicken wings 1.38
Mackerel 1.46
Sheep liver 6.15
Vegetables Amaranth leaves (green) 6.37 For vegans, green leafy vegetables are excellent foods for anemia management. Amaranth thoran, methi saag, methi paratha, methi bhaji, palak curry, palak soup are tasty dishes that can be prepared easily.
Methi (Fenugreek leaves) 5.69
Spinach 2.95
Dried fruits, Nuts and Seeds Apricots 2.50

Dried fruits are a simple food for iron deficiency that make for a fun midday snack, such as: Dry fruit milkshake, dry fruit bar, or a dry fruit sabudana patty.

Nuts and seeds are also packed with iron, making them amazing foods for anemia management. Prepare delicious halim kheer, garden cress ladoo, and a cashew pistachio milkshake.

Dates (dark brown) 4.79
Garden cress 6.19
Cashew 5.95
Other Curry leaves 8.67 You may incorporate these foods for anemia prevention by preparing: Mint raita, mint aampanna, curry leaves rice, or a curry leaves dip.
Mint leaves 8.56

Additionally, the following is vitamin-C packed food that is good for anemia, as they help boost the absorption of iron.

Food group Food source Amount of Vitamin C (mg) in 100g Recipe
Vegetables Capsicum 123 mg Tomato capsicum salad
Fruits Oranges 42.72 Orange mosambi juice
Lemon 42.72

Look for foods for anemia management that help you reach your recommended dietary allowance for iron. The following table provides the RDA of iron per age and gender:

Age/Gender RDA (mg)/day
Boys (10-12 years) 16
Girls (10-12 years) 28
Teen boys (13-15) 22
Teen girls (13-15) 30
Teen boys (16-18) 26
Teen girls (16-18) 32
Adult men 19
Adult Women (19-50 years) 29
Women >51 19

Tips to Manage Iron Deficiency

Incorporating food that is good for anemia into your diet can be accompanied by the following suggestions:

  • Balanced diet: Consume iron-rich foods for anemia along with those packed with vitamin C
  • Limit tea: Tea contains tannins that can limit the absorption of iron.
  • Avoid milk: Calcium is also known to reduce the bioavailability of iron and thus should be avoided.
  • Reduce phytates: Improve iron absorption by reducing phytates in grains and legumes through soaking or sprouting.

The risk of Iron deficiency is higher in certain groups of people, like:

  • Menstruating females: Extra iron loss occurs in women through menstrual blood loss, so make sure you supplement your body with higher levels of iron-rich foods for anemia.
  • Vegetarians: If you’re a vegetarian, you need to be more wary of your iron levels. However, you can still meet your requirements by eating nutritious food for iron deficiency prevention like green leafy vegetables, millets, pulses, and nuts.


When tackling iron deficiency, the best approach is to boost intake through your diet. From experimenting with tons of tasty recipes that incorporate iron-rich foods for anemia to regular follow-ups with your healthcare provider-there are a variety of solutions you can pursue if you're low on iron. While increasing your daily consumption of iron through food might seem challenging at first, having well-balanced and portion-controlled amounts of specific food groups packed with iron in your diet will keep iron deficiency anemia at bay.