12 Foods Containing More Iron Than Red Meat

Fatigue, headaches, and increased susceptibility to infections are signs of an iron deficiency. To remedy this, you need to consume more foods that are particularly high in iron, such as red meat and offal, but there are also plant based alternatives much richer in iron.

Iron is an essential mineral for the proper functioning of the body. It plays fundamental role in the constitution of hemoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen in the body, and in the production of myoglobin, a protein that delivers oxygen to the muscles, and in many enzymes essential to the functioning of the body.

Iron deficiency results in anemia (low hemoglobin) accompanied by extreme fatigue and decreased resistance to infection. Pregnant women are the most exposed because a lack of iron can lead to fetal growth retardation and other more serious consequences.

Here is our list of 12 foods filled with iron.

1. Cumin: 66 mg per 100 g

Cumin is the spice which is the richest in iron. It contains 66 mg of iron per 100 g of spices. Curry (29.7mg), Cinnamon (8.3g) and Meloukia powder are also iron-rich spices. They contribute little to our constitutions because we do not consume them in large quantities. However, do not hesitate to sprinkle them in your dishes, because they have many other nutritional virtues (antioxidant, anti-infective). They facilitate digestion and relieve heartburn.

2. Thyme: 30 mg per 100 g

This aromatic plant is packed with iron. In 100 g of thyme, 30 mg of iron is found. It relieves coughs when consumed as herbal tea and helps treat bronchitis. It is beneficial to keep dental plaque at bay when used as a gargle and mouthwash. Thanks to its antiseptic properties, thyme relieves skin inflammations. One of the constituents of thyme, carvacrol, could even have a relaxing effect on people with anxiety. Do not hesitate to season and flavor your cooked dishes with this magical herb!

3. Spirulina 28.5 mg per 100 g

A few grams a day of spirulina will boost your iron levels! Spirulina, is a freshwater algae. This micro-algae, is very rich in minerals and vitamins, and has amazing properties. An alternative to animal protein, it also contains a large amount of iron but also omega 6, chlorophyll, trace elements and minerals. The structure of the cell is fine, which gives it the advantage of being easily assimilated by the body. You can eat it as a 100% natural food supplement in powder or capsule form.

4. Sesame: 16.6 mg per 100 g

In the form of oil, puree (tahini) or seeds, sesame has multiple health benefits. Like spirulina, sesame is a valuable source of vegetable protein, in addition to its iron content. Its seeds are also beneficial for digestion, because of their fiber content. Sesame contains trace elements of potassium, zinc, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus. Sesame easily integrates with your salty and sweet recipes.

5. Soybeans: 15.7 mg per 100 g

This is another alternative to meat that is particularly rich in protein and iron. Soy also contains unsaturated fats, more recommended than saturated fats from animal products, which are often consumed in excessive amounts. You can consume it in all its forms: shoots of soya, milk, tofu, seitan.

6. Dark chocolate: 10.7 mg per 100 g

Dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa) is rich in iron with 10.7g/100g, it is also an excellent source of magnesium (30g/100g) and antioxidants. It even has a protective action against cardiovascular disease, preserving the health of our arteries!

7. Cashew nuts: 6 mg per 100 g

Cashews are particularly recommended for refueling with 6 mg of iron per 100 g of nuts. Other oilseed nuts similar to cashews are hazelnuts (3.5 mg of iron per 100g), macadamia nuts (3.9 mg), pistachios (3.9 mg) and almonds, cashews are rich in lipids and mono amino acids – unsaturated (the good fat), identical to those of extra virgin olive oil. They are a nutritional snack provided they are consumed in reasonable quantities. Purchase organic, bought in bulk and in their raw form because the sugar or salt added when they are grilled or caramelized transforms them into small caloric bombs.

8. Pine nuts: 5.5 mg per 100 g

Pine nuts are edible seeds of some varieties of pine trees. They contain most of the essential nutrients: carbohydrate, protein, fat, calcium, fiber. With these 5.5 mg of iron, it is a great ferric source. You can enrich your sauces, salads, bruschetta and toast with these small seeds.

9. Sunflower seeds: 5 mg per 100 g

Just like pine nuts, do not hesitate to add sunflower seeds to your recipes for a little crunch while enjoying their iron intake. Sunflower seeds are also a source of calcium and magnesium. Their polyunsaturated fatty acid content makes them a food of choice for the healthy arteries, skin and hair. Rich in fiber, they are also beneficial for digestion.

10. Red kidney beans: 5 mg per 100 g

Recognized as a superfood, red beans are an good source of iron. This legume has a variety of health benefits such as improved diabetes control and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. In addition to cereals, beans can replace the supply of animal protein. In the form of dough, they can also replace butter for less fatty desserts. Thick and creamy, this puree goes very well with sweet preparations that the Japanese are fond of.

11. Lentils: 3.3 mg per 100 g

Another source of vegetable protein, lentils are among the most digestible legumes thanks to its fiber and rich iron content. Rich in anti-oxidants, they protect the body's cells from damage caused by free radicals. In a salad, with a vinaigrette slightly infused with mustard, they are exquisite.

12. Olives: 3.3 mg per 100 g

The olive is frequently used for its fruity taste and multiple virtues: lowering blood pressure, preventing vascular diseases, minimizing certain harmful effects of pollution, reducing the risk of cancer. The Cretan diet is one of the best for healthy lifestyles. In addition to its virtues, it contains 3.3 mg of iron per 100 grams of fruit.