Which foods contain iron? We will tell you.

iron food

Iron is a vital trace element for us. But what are the best iron sources? We will tell you.

Blood and iron

As an essential trace element , iron is indispensable for a properly functioning human body. The main function of iron is the oxygen connection in the red blood cells and the iron atoms attached to it serve as a carrier of the oxygen transport. Since our red blood cells make up the majority of solid part of our blood, they are therefore one of the largest stores of iron in our body. The iron content in the body is an average of 4 grams in a healthy man and about 2.5-3 grams in a healthy woman . Iron cannot be produced by your body. That is why you have to get this through food.

The daily recommended amount of iron is 10-12 mg for men from the age of 15 and 10-15 mg for women . We have listed the exact values ​​in a table:

Young people and adults  men  women* 
15 to 19 years old  12 mg  15 mg 
19 to 25 years old 10 mg  15 mg 
25 to 51 years old 10 mg  15 mg 
51 to 65 years old  10 mg  10 mg 
65 years and older 10 mg  10 mg 

* For non-menstruating women who are not pregnant or breastfeeding, the recommended amount is 10 mg per day .

How does iron deficiency arise?

The iron absorption and processing in our body is kept in balance by various processes . Under certain circumstances, the iron metabolism can still be disturbed. In special stages of life, when the body changes rapidly, develops or loses a lot of blood, we have a higher iron requirement. Children, young people, women of childbearing age and pregnant women quickly become deficient. Vegetarians and vegans are also more likely to have an iron deficiency because of their diet. But which foods actually contain iron?

Foods containing iron

Because our body cannot produce iron itself, it is important that you get enough iron through your diet. Meat, a number of fish and eggs contain a lot of iron. Good iron-rich foods for vegetarians and vegans include whole grains , soy products , broccoli , fennel , legumes , nuts, and seeds .

Iron-containing foods

An overview of a number of iron-containing foods.

Foodstuff (per 100 g)  Iron content (in mg) 
Black pudding 30 
Pork liver 18 
Wheat bran 15 
Pumpkin seeds 11.2 
Beef ham 10 
Soybeans, dried 9.7 
Pine nuts 9.2 
Millet flakes 9 
Lentils dried  8 
Wheat germ 7.6 
Veal liver 7.5 

Our conclusion

  • Iron is an essential trace element
  • It regulates oxygen transport in your body and ensures the red color of your blood
  • The recommended daily amount of iron from the age of 15 onwards is 10-12 mg for men and 10-15 mg for women .
  • In meat is the most iron, but also legumes , nuts and seeds are high in iron.

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