42 Foods That Fight Anemia

  • Oats

    Need an easy way to up your iron intake? Replace that unhealthy white flour in your favorite baked goods with oat flour instead. In every cup, you’ll get more than 9 milligrams of iron, about half of what’s recommended for most pre-menopausal women in a day, and more than the RDA for men and women who’ve gone through menopause. And find out the best pairing for your morning meal by turning to the 40 Drinks That Fight Fat

  • Collard Greens

    Bulk up your iron intake the healthy way by steaming some collard greens to serve with your meal. In a cup of collards, you can enjoy more than 2 milligrams of iron, plenty of digestive health-promoting fiber, and immune-protecting antioxidant vitamin C. 

  • Potatoes

    When we think of iron-rich foods, leafy greens and meat may come to mind first, but the trusty potato is actually one of the better ways to up your intake. In just a 3.5-ounce potato with skin, you can enjoy 7 milligrams of iron. And discover how to get healthier both mentally and physically with these 42 Ways to Reward Yourself Without Food!

  • Watercress

    Whether used as a garnish or on a tea sandwich, watercress is an easy way to add flavor and iron to your food without loading your dish down with extra calories. One cup of watercress has just 4 calories, but packs nearly 3 milligrams of anemia-fighting iron, as well as a quarter of your daily vitamin C. 

  • Squab

    Eager to try out something a bit more interesting than boneless, skinless chicken breasts? Try adding some squab to your menu. A 3.5-ounce portion of this flavorful bird packs 3.5 milligrams of iron, which can help fight off iron-deficiency anemia. For pregnant parents-to-be, iron is a particularly important addition to their diet — researchers at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey have discovered a significant link between iron deficiency and pre-term birth. 

  • Mussels

    Reduce your risk of anemia and up your protein intake by adding some mussels to your meal plan today. A half-cup portion of mussels packs 4 milligrams of iron, as well as plenty of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce your risk of heart disease, fight certain cancers, and may even help you achieve long-lasting weight loss. 

  • Cornmeal
    Whether you’re backing it into a cornbread or making homemade tortillas, cornmeal is an unexpectedly effective means of increasing your iron intake. Just a cup of cornmeal packs nearly 11 milligrams of iron, making it an easy way to fight off anemia and reduce fatigue.
  • Apricots

    Need an easy snack that will keep you energized all day? Add some dried apricots to your menu. With more than 14 milligrams of iron per cup, in addition to plenty of belly-flattening beta-carotene and immune system-boosting vitamin C, there are few easier ways to kick anemia to the curb. Just make sure that the apricots you buy don’t have added sugar or sulfites, which can be a recipe for serious bloat. And for more ways to get healthier in no time, discover these 40 Reasons to Ditch Refined Sugar.

  • Octopus

    Make your meals a bit more adventurous by adding some octopus. Great in salad and pasta dishes, this chewy delicacy packs 5.3 milligrams of iron per 3.5-ounce serving.

  • Venison

    A staple meat for many hunters, venison is an easy way to increase your iron intake in no time. This tasty game meat packs more than a milligram of anemia-fighting iron per ounce, and it also happens to be a budget-friendly alternative to beef. 

  • Beef Shank
    Red meat is known for its high iron content, and it’s true that beef is one of the best meats out there to help you fight back against anemia. Braise some beef shank for inner tonight and you’ll be getting more than a milligram of iron for every ounce you eat. And find out which food flavorings you should keep off that perfect cut of meat by avoiding the 40 Worst Condiments For Your Waistline!
  • Garlic

    Ditch those salty and sugar-laden marinades in favor of some crushed garlic. Garlic is a great way to up your iron intake, with 1.7 milligrams of the stuff per 3.5 ounces, and also happens to be a great way to improve your overall health; researchers at Tufts University have linked garlic consumption to lower rates of heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and dementia.


  • Currants

    Enjoy a sweet snack that’s great for your health by making currants a diet staple. A cup of these delicious fruits will add 3.4 milligrams of iron to your diet, as well as more than 75 percent of your daily vitamin C and plenty of belly fat-fighting resveratrol. And for more healthy ways to indulge your sweet tooth, turn to these 40 Decadent Desserts That Will Slim You Down!

  • Elk

    Instead of another boring burger, try cooking up some elk medallions instead. This tasty game meat is lower in fat and calories than comparable cuts of beef and packs nearly 8 milligrams of iron per 8-ounce serving.

  • Chanterelle Mushrooms

    Make your favorite soup or salad a whole lot more flavorful by adding a few chanterelles to it. For anyone suffering from anemia, these tasty mushrooms can be a serious lifesaver, thanks to the 7.6 milligrams of iron they pack per cup.

  • Grapes

    A delicious treat without an ounce of refined sugar, grapes have long been a go-to for parents who are eager to get their kids to enjoy healthier sweets. Considering how many kids are suffering from anemia, grapes are also a great snack — a single cup of grapes packs more than 2 milligrams of iron, and red grapes are a great source of inflammation-reducing resveratrol. And for more reasons to add colorful food to your plate, discover the 40 Ways Red Fruit Fights Fat!

  • Lamb

    Those lamb chops from last night’s dinner could be the key to a reduced risk of anemia. Lamb is not only flavorful, when trimmed, it can also have less fat than certain cuts of turkey and chicken.

  • Bison

    Build muscle, increase your energy, and kick anemia to the curb by adding some bison to your meals. This tasty game meat is one of the best sources of iron out there, packing more than 10 milligrams of iron per 8-ounce portion. And increase your protein intake and improve your health in no time with these 45 Protein Sources You Should Be Eating — But Aren't!

  • Olives

    Olives are more than just the garnish on a salad or martini — they just so happen to be an amazing, vegan-friendly way to increase your iron intake, as well. Enjoy just 4 small olives and you’ll add 3.3 milligrams of iron to your daily total. And discover more fats you should add to your menu with the 20 Healthiest High-Fat Foods!

  • Brussels Sprouts

    Boost your immune system, enjoy more energy, and fix your iron-deficient status in no time by making Brussels sprouts your veggie side of choice. In just one cup of Brussels sprouts, you’ll get 1.2 milligrams of iron, in addition to more than a day’s worth of immune-boosting vitamin C and plenty of energizing B6.

  • Veal

    Whether baked, braised, or grilled, veal is an easy way to up your iron intake in no time. Just a 3.5-ounce portion of this tender meat will add more than 3 milligrams of iron to your diet in no time.

  • Chicken

    Instead of tossing the giblets from your chicken, use them to add flavor to a gravy, soup, or stew. Every time you enjoy these healthy organ meats, you’ll get nearly a third of your recommended daily iron intake in just a 3.5-ounce portion. And for more ways to slim down while eating the food you love, discover the 25 Best Fruits For a Flatter Belly!

  • Asparagus

    Low in calories and high in fiber and water, eating some asparagus is a great way regulate your digestion, hydrate, and improve your iron-deficient status. Add just a cup of asparagus to a quiche, salad, or pasta dish and your meal will be 4 milligrams of iron richer. 

  • Spinach

    Popeye wasn’t kidding when he bragged about all the amazing things spinach was doing for his strength. Despite its low calories, spinach is incredibly nutrient dense, packing almost 6 milligrams of iron per cup, as well as plenty of vitamin C and healthy fiber. 

  • Barley
    Add some barley to some of your favorite recipes and you’ll be on the path toward a reduced risk of anemia in no time. Great for baking or as an alternative to rice, barley packs a staggering 32 grams of fiber per cup, as well as nearly one third of your daily iron.
  • Beet Greens

    Swap out those lifeless greens you’ve been eating in favor of some flavorful, iron-rich beet greens. Just one cup of these tasty greens packs 6 percent of your RDA of iron, as well as metabolism-boosting magnesium, immune-supporting vitamin C, and digestion-friendly fiber. 

  • Turkey

    Don’t wait for Thanksgiving to add some turkey to your regular lineup. This healthy protein packs nearly a milligram of iron per ounce. Just make sure you’re not loading it down with pre-packaged cranberry sauce or gravy, both of which can be loaded with preservatives, high-fructose corn syrup, and emulsifiers that can lead to serious bloat. And for more ways to get fit in no time, add the 40 Habits of the World's Fittest People to your routine! 

  • Passionfruit

    Making this tasty tropical fruit a part of your diet is an easy way to keep anemia at bay. Just one cup of passionfruit packs 3.5 milligrams of iron and all the sweet flavor you need to keep those refined sugar cravings away. And discover more ways to make your diet healthier while eating delicious sweet treats with the 40 Reasons to Add Tropical Fruit to Your Diet!

  • Broccoli Rabe
    Trade in those tired veggie dishes in favor of some broccoli rabe tonight—your doctor will thank you. Broccoli rabe is low in calories, but a single cup of the stuff packs 20 percent of your daily vitamin A, loads of vitamin C, B vitamins, and nearly 5 milligrams of iron.
  • Leeks

    Whip up a batch of potato leek soup and watch those pesky anemia symptoms hit the road for good. Leeks are not only flavorful, they’re also an easy way to add iron to your diet, with more than 2.5 milligrams of the stuff per cup.

  • Peaches

    Instead of your usual sugary snacks, try adding some dried peaches to your menu and reduce your anemia risk in the process. Just a cup of these beta-carotene-rich fruits will add a whopping 5 milligrams of iron to your diet, staving off anemia, fighting fatigue, and improving the oxygenation of your blood. And for more ways to get healthier while enjoying delicious fruit, discover these 40 Delicious Ways to Eat More Avocado!

  • Arugula
    Instead of watery iceberg, try making arugula your green of choice the next time you throw together a salad. While low in calories, arugula is a good source of protein, dietary fiber, vitamin C, and iron, with nearly 3 milligrams per cup.
  • Peas

    If peas aren’t a regular part of your diet, there’s no time like the present to change that. Peas are the protein of choice for many health-conscious bodybuilders, thanks to their high protein, fiber, and nutrient content. Adding just a cup of peas to your menu will infuse it with 4.7 milligrams of iron, in addition to nearly a day’s worth of vitamin C and 8 grams of protein. And for more reasons to increase your intake of healthy veggie protein, discover the 40 Reasons to Eat More Beans!

  • Mackerel

    Get your heart healthy, your belly full, and make your anemia a thing of the past by making mackerel the star of the show in an upcoming meal. This healthy fish contains one of the highest omega-3 counts, making it a perfect food for anyone fighting inflammation or concerned about their heart disease risk. It also happens to pack 4.7 milligrams of iron per 8-ounce serving, so if you’re suffering from anemia, you’d be wise to head to your local fish market.

  • Edamame

    While processed soy products, from burgers to shakes, can cause a host of health problems, in its purest form, the soybean, soy can be a healthy occasional indulgence. In addition to its high protein count, edamame just so happens to be a great source of iron, packing 4.8 milligrams per cup. 

  • Brown Rice

    Going gluten free? Try using brown rice flour in your recipes instead of traditional wheat. Not only is brown rice full of fiber and healthy protein, it’s also a great source of iron, with 4.5 milligrams per cup. It also happens to pack nearly half of your daily magnesium recommendation, helping you enjoy a healthier, more efficient metabolism in no time. And for more ways to boost your weight loss while enjoying carbs, enjoy the 15 Best Grains For Weight Loss!

  • Lima Beans
    Lima beans may not the most glamorous legume, but when you’re trying to treat iron deficiency anemia, they’re hard to beat. Enjoying just a single cup of these protein-rich, weight loss friendly beans will infuse your diet with 4.3 milligrams of energizing iron. 
  • Crab

    Treat yourself to some crab and say so long to the anemia-induced fatigue you’ve been fighting. As well as being a good source of omega-3s, crab packs an impressive 6.6 milligrams of iron per 8-ounce serving — that’s about 1/3 of the iron you need in a single day.

  • Turnip Greens

    Turn up that energy level by adding some turnip greens to your menu today. Easy to prepare, inexpensive, low in calories, and nutrient-dense, turnip greens are an often-overlooked veggie that has major nutritional bang for its buck. Eat just a cup of these tasty greens and you’ll add 4.4 milligrams of iron to your meal. Just make sure you read the label if you’re getting the canned kind, however — lots of companies load theirs with salt, sugar, and fat. 

  • Black Eyed Peas
    Break out the black eyed peas and break free from the exhausting chains of anemia once and for all. Low in fat, protein-rich, and vegan-friendly, these tasty beans just so happen to pack more than 4 milligrams of iron per cup, as well. 
  • Trout

    Sick of your usual salmon? Try adding some trout to your menu instead. Trout is a great way to up your omega-3 intake, get some healthy protein, and load your diet with iron. A 3.5-ounce trout filet contains just over 150 calories, in addition to nearly 2 milligrams of iron, and a surprising amount of energizing B vitamins. And for more reasons to increase your omega-3 intake, discover these 40 Ways Omega-3s Fight Fat!

  • Oysters

    If you’re looking for a perfect food for that big date, make it this iron-rich aphrodisiac. Oysters are among the most iron-rich foods on the market, with a 3.5-ounce serving packing nearly 6 milligrams of iron. Add in the nice boost of healthy omega-3s you’ll get and you might just find that oysters quickly become your preferred protein source.