Top 10 Foods Highest in Iron You Can’t Miss

Lack of Iron in your diet and food storage can sap your energy when you may need it most, so make sure you have some of the foods listed below in your Emergency Food Storage.high-iron-foods

Iron is an essential mineral used to transport oxygen to all parts of the body. A slight deficiency in iron causes anemia (fatigue/weakness), and a chronic deficiency can lead to organ failure. Conversely, too much iron leads to production of harmful free radicals, and interferes with metabolism, causing damage to organs like the heart and liver. The body is able to regulate uptake of iron, so overdose is rare and usually only occurs when people take supplements. Iron from natural food sources, like the ones listed below, are considered safe and healthy. While iron is better absorbed from heme (meat) sources, non-heme (plant) iron is better regulated causing less damage to the body. High iron foods include clams, liver, sunflower seeds, nuts, beef, lamb, beans, whole grains, dark leafy greens (spinach), dark chocolate, and tofu. The current daily value (DV) for iron is 18 milligrams (mg). Below is a list of high iron foods. For more high iron foods see the lists of high iron foods by nutrient density, iron rich foods (heme and non-heme), and the list of fruits and vegetables high in iron.


#1: Mollusks (Clams, Mussels, Oysters)

Iron in 100g 3oz (85g) 20 Small Clams (190g)
28mg (155% DV) 24mg (132% DV) 53mg (295% DV)

Similar Foods High in Iron (%DV per 3oz (85g)): Oysters (57%), Cuttlefish (51%), Whelk(48%), Octopus (45%), Mussels (32%), Abalone (18%), and Scallops (14%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.

#2: Liver (Pork, Chicken, Turkey, Lamb, Beef)

Iron in 100g 4oz Serving (113g) 1 ounce (28g)
23mg (129% DV) 26mg (146% DV) 7mg (36% DV)

Click to see complete nutrition facts.

#3: Squash and Pumpkin Seeds

Iron in 100g 1 cup (227g) 1 ounce (142 seeds) (28g)
15mg (83% DV) 34mg (188% DV) 4mg (23% DV)

Other Seeds High in Iron (%DV per ounce (28g)): Sesame (23%), Sunflower (11%), and Flax (9%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#4: Nuts (Cashew, Pine, Hazelnut, Peanut, Almond)

Iron in 100g 1 cup (129g) 1 ounce (18 cashews) (28g)
6.1mg (34% DV) 7.8mg (43% DV) 1.7mg (9% DV)

Other Nuts High in Iron (%DV per ounce (28g)): Pine nuts(9%), Hazelnuts (7%), Peanuts (7%), Almonds (7%), Pistachios (7%), and Macadamia (6%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.

#5: Beef and Lamb (Lean Tenderloin)

Iron in 100g Yield from 1lb roast (251g) 3 ounce serving (85g)
3.7mg (21% DV) 9.3mg (51% DV) 3.1mg (17% DV)

13% DV Iron in 3oz (85g) of Lean Lamb Roast. Click to see complete nutrition facts.

#6: Beans and Pulses (White Beans, Lentils)

Iron in 100g 1 cup cooked (179g) 1 Tablespoon (11g)
3.7mg (21% DV) 6.6mg (37% DV) 0.5mg (2% DV)

Other Beans High in Iron (%DV per cup cooked): Soybeans (49%), Lentils (37%), Kidney beans (29%), Garbanzo beans (Chickpeas) (26%), and Lima beans (25%), Navy (24%), Black Beans (Frijoles Negros) (20%), Pinto (20%), and Black-eyed Peas (20%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.

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