Medically reviewed by Darshita Thakkar, Nutrition Training and Quality Manager for PAN India
Foods are natural sources of nutrients and the one nutrient we are talking about today is iron.
Iron-rich fruits can be one of the best ways to fulfill your daily iron requirements.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says, there are around 1.62 billion people with anemia in the world (that contributes to the world’s quarter population) and half of the anemia is due to iron deficiency.
In fact, iron-deficiency is reportedly one of the top causes of disability in India.
Iron is one important nutrient whose deficiency may lead to numerous health issues along with anemia.
Like, have you been feeling fatigued or tired? Or is there an abnormal pale coloration on your face? Well, these could be the symptoms of iron deficiency in you.
5 Major Symptoms of Iron Deficiency
It is one of the common symptoms of iron deficiency that is caused due to less amount of oxygen reaching the body tissues.
2. The appearance of a Pale face
Iron deficiency leads to pale coloration on the face and inner eyelids. This is due to the lower levels of hemoglobin in the body.
3. Short breath
The lower levels of hemoglobin lead to a shortage of oxygen reaching the body tissues, which is characterized by shortness of breath.
Iron deficiency leads to less oxygen reaching the brain which pressurizes the blood vessels leading to headaches.
5. Faster heartbeats
Since the deficiency of iron leads to lower levels of oxygen in the body, the heart starts working faster. This leads to faster heartbeats.
So Get rid of Fatigue, Pale complexion and Shortness of breath, Unexplained Headaches, and Faster Heartbeats.
7 Iron-rich fruits
In order to fulfill your iron requirements, we bring to you 7 iron-rich fruits that you can totally sneak into your diet.
100 grams of dates contains 4.79 mg of our daily iron requirement. Besides, being iron-rich fruit, dates are amazing sources of antioxidants.
They contain elements like calcium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, magnesium, and zinc, as well as vitamins like thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin A and vitamin K. Dates, are great sources of fiber as well.
2. Dried Apricots
A 100 gm of apricot contains 2.7 mg of iron. Not just an iron-rich fruit, dried apricots are excellent sources of dietary fiber too.
They contain soluble fiber that is responsible for reducing cholesterol. Soluble fiber binds to fatty acids and helps in their removal through excretion.
The type of iron that we get from dried apricots is non-heme iron that is usually not absorbed easily. However, its absorption can be increased by consuming other food sources of vitamin C and heme iron.
Now a 100 gm of berries contains 0.3 mg of iron. Although that is a little low, berries act as iron absorbance boosters.
How? Well, berries are great sources of vitamin C, be it strawberries, blackberries, or blueberries.
Vitamin C or ascorbic acid enhances the absorption of non-heme iron by preventing the formation of insoluble iron compounds.
Moreover, the vitamin helps in the reduction of a ferric form of iron to ferrous, which is readily absorbed by the body.
These are the dried plums. These dried versions of our beloved plums are power-packed with vitamins and minerals.
And yes, it is certainly one of the important iron-rich fruits. It has been mentioned as per USDA, that 100 grams of prunes contain 3.52 mg of iron.
These dried plums also contain a good quantity of dietary fiber, vitamin K, B vitamins, calcium, and potassium. You can include prunes into your diet by adding them to your bowl of morning cereals.
Not a dried fruits fan? Well, here’s the juiciest fruit which also assists in improving and maintaining an ideal iron level in the body.
According to USDA, 100 grams of watermelon has about 0.24 gm of iron.
Not just that, watermelons are rich in vitamin C, which further increases the efficiency of non-heme iron in the body.
Watermelon is also a good source of lycopene and beta-carotene which helps in increasing iron absorption in the body. Studies have seen the same phenomena though its exact mechanism is yet to be studied more.
100 gms of pomegranate contains 0.3 mg of iron. This iron-rich fruit, pomegranate’s seeds are one of the most commonly recommended iron-rich fruits for fighting anemia, which is caused due to iron deficiency.
Not just that, pomegranate also contains vitamins, especially vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E, as well as folic acid. Pomegranate helps in reducing the symptoms of iron deficiency.
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Another iron-rich fruit on the list is raisins, which are basically dried grapes. A 100 gms of raisins contain about 1 mg of iron.
They contain almost twice the amount of iron present in grapes. When grapes are dehydrated to give raisins, the nutrients get more concentrated.
Besides iron, raisins are also packed with carbohydrates, B vitamins, and potassium. Raisins contain certain members of the vitamin B complex that are responsible for the formation of new blood.
Various factors affect the iron requirement of an individual like
- Physical activity
- Special requirement as in infancy stage, adolescence, or pregnancy.
Moreover, the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vegetarians is 1.8 times higher as compared to non-vegetarian. This is because of the low bioavailability of plant-based iron (non-heme iron) while animal-based iron (heme iron) is easily bioavailable to the body.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What foods are high in iron?
A. 6 Common Foods with Iron are dark leafy vegetables like:
- Red meat
Q. Which nuts are high in iron?
A. Here are the 5 nuts that are high in iron.
- Pine nuts 10 gms = 0.6 mg of iron
- Hazelnuts 14 gms = 0.7 mg of iron
- Pistachios 28 gms = 1.1 mg of iron
- Almonds 10 gms = 0.5 mg of iron
- Cashew nuts 10 gms=0.3 mg of iron
Q. Which vegetables are rich in iron?
A. 5 vegetarian iron-rich foods are