They help keep your muscles strong and your blood healthy.
It can be a challenge to get as much iron you need in a day, but knowing which foods contain the biggest amounts can definitely make it easier. So how much of the mineral do you need? The (RDA) is 18 milligrams for adult women, and 8 milligrams for men. Worth noting: Vitamin C helps your body absorb iron from food.
Ready to get healthier? See which eats you should be adding to your plate now.
Surprise! Clams take the top prize for providing the most iron. Three ounces of the shellfish provide 23.8 milligrams of iron and 126 calories.
The amount of iron you can get from cold cereals ranges, but since most can be chock-full of added sugar, you're better off sticking with whole-grain plain oats (and sweetening with fruit, nuts, or nut butter instead!). Bonus: Adding vitamin-C rich citrus, kiwi, or strawberries, which can help you absorb the iron from oats.
Three ounces of wild oysters contain 10.2 milligrams of iron and 116 calories. A true superfood, oysters are also a top source of vitamin B12.
Wild oysters can have high amounts of contaminants, and may be harvested using destructive methods, according to Environmental Defense Fund's , so stick with farmed Pacific or edible European oysters.
Not only does fish reduce the risk of depression, heart disease, and cognitive decline, but also it supplies a healthy dose of iron. Aim to eat at least eight ounces of canned sardines, fresh tuna, salmon, or halibut each week.
A half cup of cooked edamame contains 4.4 milligrams of iron and 149 calories.
An ounce of roasted pumpkin and squash seed kernels contain 4.2 milligrams of iron and 148 calories.
This guilty pleasure is also high in antioxidants, which can help boost cognition and reduce risk of heart disease, but be sure to stick to a 1 to 1.5 oz. portion.
Hearty lentils are delicious and nutritious: a half cup offers 3.3 milligrams of iron and 115 calories.
Cooked spinach follows closely behind lentils. A half cup has 3.2 milligrams of iron and 21 calories.