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Foods with More Iron than Beef

By Sara Butler

Iron is an essential mineral in your diet. It allows your body to create red blood cells that then carry oxygen to every single cell in your body. People who are low in iron are called anemic – and being anemic can have severe consequences on your health. You can easily get iron through the things you eat, but if you’re sick of beef or you’re vegan or vegetarian, then here are a few things you may want to try to get your daily iron instead.

How Much Iron Do You Need?

According to the USDA, men and women not of child-bearing age need about 10 milligrams per day. Women of child-bearing age or women who are nursing need about 15 milligrams per day and pregnant women need 30 milligrams daily.

If you’re a vegan or vegetarian, you need more iron in your diet since plant-based iron isn’t absorbed as well by the body as animal-based iron. People who follow these diets will need about 1.8 times more iron per day than others. In men, that means 14 milligrams are needed daily, while women of child-bearing age need about 27 milligrams per day.

Kidney Beans

Beans, beans, they’re good for your heart! The more you eat, the more you are likely to get necessary protein, fiber and iron; kidney beans are absolutely loaded with the stuff. Just one cup of beans has 4 milligrams of iron. Plus, you can add them to just about everything you cook.


Spinach contains a whopping 6 milligrams of iron in every cooked cup. It also happens to contain about one-third of your daily calcium needs, as well as half-day’s supply of Vitamin A. Popeye was really on to something, it seems.

Swiss Chard

If spinach isn’t quite your thing, have you been introduced to spinach’s spunky cousin Swiss chard? Just one cup of this cooked vegetable has 4 milligrams of iron. It’s tasty, affordable, and can be used anywhere spinach can!


Are you ready for this? Lentils have 7 milligrams of iron in each cooked cup. Can you believe it? Lentils really fly under the radar for most people, but they’re versatile and easy to make, plus they’ll add to your health!


Quinoa is the popular kid in the plant-based protein class since it’s a complete vegetarian protein. That means that it has all nine essential amino acids that your body needs to function properly. Plus, it has 3 milligrams of iron in a cooked cup. All the more reason to love this grain!

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.


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