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Why We Need Iron in Our Diet and Foods That Have It

By Stephen R. Farris

There are many nutrients and minerals that are essential to good health. Just to name a few, we need Vitamin D for our skin health, omega-3 fatty acids to help reduce our chances for heart disease and other things, and we need iron to keep us from getting anemic and feeling fatigued.

Iron is available as a vitamin supplement. However, there are plenty of foods available at your local supermarket that contain iron as well. So the next time you go shopping, check out some of these items you can cook at home and get your daily dose of iron.


I won't go into Bubba Gump mode here, but shrimp is one of the tastiest shellfish that can be found. It can be prepared and served in a variety of ways, and yes, it contains iron. Other shellfish containing iron are crab, lobster, and crawfish. Clams, oysters and mussels are very good sources of iron from our oceans.


It's a green, leafy vegetable that contains iron and can be cooked in different ways, whether it's as a side to your entree dish, or eaten as a salad, or salad complement. So those old Popeye cartoons were actually giving us nutritional tips. Who knew?

Organ Meats

Meats such as liver, kidneys, brain, and heart are rich with iron. They also contain Vitamin B, copper, and selenium. Liver has an added nutrient, Vitamin A.


They're great to cook and eat any time of the year, but especially at barbeques and on those cold winter nights. Beans, such as black beans, navy, and kidney, are an abundant source of iron. Other foods in the legume family include chickpeas, soybeans, peas, and lentils. All are packed with nutrients and can help protect against certain diseases as well.

Red Meat

Red meats are a great source for iron, as well as protein, zinc, selenium, and B vitamins. While not a red meat, turkey -- from the poultry department -- is another iron source. According to research, people who eat meat (red meat, poultry, fish) on a regular basis could reduce their chances of becoming iron deficient.

Pumpkin Seed

Looking for a healthy snack, then try pumpkin seed! Pumpkin seed is another iron source, also containing Vitamin K, zinc, and manganese.

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

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