5 Foods To Help With Iron Deficiency


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Anaemia is a condition that affects you when your red blood cell count is low. You will notice symptoms like pale skin, leg cramps and fatigue. These symptoms can be very discomforting and can easily aggravate if you don’t take the right measures quickly. So, what is the fastest way to cure anaemia? Read on to find out.

How can I raise my iron levels quickly?

One of the quickest ways to raise low iron levels is through eating the right foods. Your diet should ideally include iron-rich foods and other nutrients that are needed for red blood cells and haemoglobin production. Moreover, you should also eat foods that help your body absorb iron better.

Ideally, it is recommended that you get at least 150 – 200 mg of iron daily through your diet. If you are falling short of this number, consult a doctor online on DocsApp to determine if taking iron supplements would help.

Here are the best iron-rich foods you should eat to combat anaemia:

Poultry and meat

If the question on your mind is “what is the fastest way to cure anaemia?”, then you should start including poultry and chicken in your diet. Red meat is an even better source of iron. It is advised to combine meat with leafy greens to increase the absorption of iron in the body.

Leafy greens

Do you like leafy greens like spinach and kale? Dark leafy greens like these are an excellent source of iron. Moreover, some leafy greens like collard also contain folate. If you don’t get enough folate in your diet then you may get folate deficiency anaemia.

However, there is a catch! Eating only green leafy vegetables to combat anaemia isn’t a good idea. This is because some of these vegetables also contain a high amount of oxalates – compounds that prevent the absorption of iron in the body. Therefore make green leafy vegetables one of your iron sources and not the only one.


Most commercially available fishes are rich in iron. Oysters, shrimp and clams are rich in iron.The following fishes are recommended for their high iron content:

  • Fresh salmon
  • Halibut
  • Tuna
  • Sardines
  • Haddock

Remember to avoid fish that is high in calcium like canned salmon. Calcium reduces iron absorption in the body by binding with it. In fact, you should not consume foods that are rich in calcium when you are eating iron-rich foods.

Take note of these calcium-rich foods:

  • Yoghurt
  • Raw milk
  • Tofu
  • Cheese
  • Broccoli
  • Kefir


Beans are not just an excellent source of protein for vegetarians but also protein. Here are a few beans that are rich in iron:

  • Chickpeas
  • Black-eyed peas
  • Kidney beans
  • Black beans
  • Lima beans
  • Peas
  • Pinto beans

Nuts and seeds

There are many seeds and nuts that are rich in iron. The best part is you eat them raw on the move. If you don’t like eating them raw, then sprinkle them on your salads. Here are a few iron-rich nuts and seeds:

  • Pistachios
  • Cashews
  • Hemp seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sunflower seeds

Although almonds too contain high amounts of iron, they were left out from the list because of their high calcium content, which can reduce iron absorption.

Fortified foods

If you are a vegetarian then it is best you add fortified foods in your diet to ensure that you are consuming sufficient quantities of iron. You can add foods like –Fortified white riceFortified pastaFortified orange juiceFortified ready-to-eat cereals

Foods to avoid

You need to avoid these foods as they can interfere with iron absorption:

  • Whole grain cereals
  • Tea and coffee
  • Gluten rich foods like barley and wheat
  • Foods rich in oxalates like peanuts and chocolate

Few other tips to increase iron intake

  • Cook in an iron-cast skillet
  • Eat foods rich in vitamin C

Can you tell from your eyes if you are anaemic?

Yes, you can. If the mucous membrane in your eyes, the water line above the lower lashes, is pale then it could be a sign of you being anaemic.


You can take charge of anaemia if you get your diet right. Include the foods recommended above in your diet to make your iron levels optimal.