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Best Iron-Rich Foods to Prevent Anemia

Last week I gave you guys an update on my anemia diagnosis and how I’ve managed it in the last 18 months with the help of supplements. I thought today I we could talk about preventing iron-deficient anemia with a healthy diet full of iron-rich foods.

Did you know that around 20% of women and 50% of pregnant women have low iron levels? (Source) Including these foods in your diet can help up your iron and lower your chance of winding up a statistic.

Everything You Need to Know About Green Smoothies


Spinach is my go-to plant-based source of iron. I add it to EVERYTHING! Some ideas for adding spinach to your diet include green smoothies, spinach salads, spinach with eggs, a bed of spinach under everything, sauteed spinach…the options are endless with this extremely versatile veggie.



I love roasting beets for my spinach salads. Double the iron!


Red Meat

For many years I steered clear of most meat, especially red meat. These days I regularly enjoy ground beef and steaks from my favorite local farmer Just 3 ounces of red meat features 2.1 milligrams or more of iron. I don’t go overboard but I try to eat red meat at least once a week these days.



I love that eggs can take you from a breakfast scramble or omelet to hard-boiled on a salad at lunch to “put an egg on it” at dinner. Like spinach, they are extremely versatile and work well so many ways.

Dark Chocolate

1 ounce of dark chocolate contains 2.3 milligrams of iron. Thus a reason to have dessert every night! 🙂

Pumpkin Seeds

Surprisingly, squash and pumpkin seeds are loaded with iron! Sprinkle some on your morning yogurt parfait or oatmeal or top a salad with them.

Honey Almond Granola Recipe

Wheat Germ

Wheat germ is an iron-rich food that I include in my homemade granola and oatmeal.



Did you know that cashews, pine nuts and peanuts include up to 9% of your daily iron? See, there’s a reason I top everything with peanut butter! 😉

In addition to all of these foods, you need a lot of Vitamin C! According to the CVS website, you should include plenty of foods rich in vitamin C when you eat foods that contain iron. The vitamin C will help absorb more of the available iron.


If you need help with getting your Vitamin C in every day, CVS offers a USDA Organic Radiance Platinum Vitamin C supplement with 120 milligrams of Vitamin C.

And if you missed last week’s post, these are the supplements I take in addition to my iron-rich diet.


Read all about them in this post! They are all available at your local CVS.

What iron rich foods do you include in your diet?

How do you ensure you get your Vitamin C in?

This post is sponsored by #CVSHealthySolutions but the experience and opinions are all my own. Thank you for reading and I hope this post is resourceful and helpful for you!

{ 19 comments… add one }
  • Orla September 3, 2015, 1:57 am

    Ive had very low iron for years & can tell when its really dipping as i get chronic headachea & dizziness. Despite eating iron rich food – except red meat as I’m veggie. One tip though is to avoid caffeine beverages right before & after eating these foods or taking a supplement because just as vitamin c helps absorption of iron, caffeine can actually reduce & prevent it.

    • Jen September 3, 2015, 7:49 pm

      Good to know!

  • Roxanne September 3, 2015, 3:08 am

    Great tips you shared in here! This will be extremely grateful for me as I am anemic and still struggling with keeping my blood count up.

    • Jen September 3, 2015, 7:50 pm

      Hope it helps!

  • Erica {Erica@EricaDHouse.com} September 3, 2015, 6:41 am

    I’ve taken an iron supplement for years, and eat a LOT of spinach and eggs to keep my levels up. As a vegetarian distance runner I was virtually guaranteed to have low iron levels (and they were when I had them tested.)

  • She Rocks Fitness September 3, 2015, 10:00 am

    Great post…I need to start making more green smoothies again…I have got all the ingredients after a shopping trip and cannot wait to incorporate them again. Thanks for sharing! XOXO

    • Jen September 3, 2015, 7:52 pm

      They’re all I want for breakfast most days. So good!

  • meredith @ Cookie ChRUNicles September 3, 2015, 10:40 am

    I eat a ton of spinach which I think makes a noticeable difference in my energy levels, especially after that time of the month. SOmetimes I would get tired then but since eating spinach every day, I have seen a difference. Lentils too! Those are great for iron.

  • Libby September 3, 2015, 12:27 pm

    I used to be anemic, but now my iron levels are back in the normal range. I eat tons of dark leafy greens, nuts/nut butters, occasional red meat, and dark chocolate every night. The dark chocolate I buy at Trader Joe’s is delicious and has 25% of my daily value – I have this almost every night! I also take a multivitamin with iron.

    • Jen September 3, 2015, 7:53 pm

      Yum!! As if I need another reason to eat chocolate!

  • Rachel September 3, 2015, 12:47 pm

    Thank you for posting this. I had a baby 5 weeks ago and had to have treatment for anemia. It’s still low now but I don’t like taking tablets for it, I prefer to do it through diet. This post is perfect for me! I also heard dried apricots are full of iron too, but never knew peanut butter was!

    • Jen September 3, 2015, 7:54 pm

      You’re welcome!! Hope it’s helpful!

  • tara September 3, 2015, 2:09 pm

    after reading this i realize i probably get a decent amount of iron in my diet which is good because i cant even tolerate the normal levels of iron in many milti vitamins. i have to get low iron ones or my stomach is not happy. i do eat spinach and red meat for sure. and recently have been eating more nuts (but always always ate lots of pb). as for vitamin c i take a supplement but eat a lot of veggies and fruits

  • elizabeth September 3, 2015, 5:33 pm

    Did your method of birth control make any difference for anemia, better or worse?

    • Jen September 3, 2015, 5:46 pm

      I was diagnosed with it while I was taking a pill (which I had been on for a very long time and never had anemia before) but I have been completely off of them for over a year now. No idea?

  • maya September 4, 2015, 6:50 am

    Excellent post, thank you!

  • Marina September 9, 2015, 8:30 am

    This is great! I shared this post with my friends because they’re always asking me about iron and what foods I eat to stay healthy. Good thing I already eat spinach and beet salad all the time as well as eggs. 🙂


  • RHONDA September 8, 2016, 12:30 pm

    I too , have low Iron, mine is mostly from being Pre meni……I was told by nutritionist- Egg yolk STOP the absorbtion of Iron …… so eating the salad w/ egg is not neccesarily a good thing. I eat it as a snack now, alone. Also Green tea stops absorbtion of Iron 7 calcium!!! so confusing . So, if you love your tea (any kind) enjoy it alone……. 1/2 b4 or after a meal

    • Jen DeCurtins September 12, 2016, 3:51 pm

      Oh wow, thank you SO MUCH for sharing! I had no idea.

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