Is avocado rich in iron? Not all varieties are good sources

Avocado is among the richest fruits in iron. It can help us meet our daily needs of iron. A whole Hass avocado provides 5% of the DV.

How much iron is in avocado?

Avocado is an excellent dietary source of iron. Only California avocados are particularly rich in iron, though. They have 0.61 mg of iron per 100g. This amount is 3% of the Daily Value (DV).[1]

California varieties are small dark-skinned avocados. The most popular variety is Hass avocado. 

A whole California avocado has 0.83 mg of iron, or almost 5% of the DV. Half an avocado has 0.42 mg of iron, or 2.3% of the DV. Furthermore, a small serving (50 g) provides 0.3 mg of iron, or 1.6% of the DV.

A small slice of avocado provides about 0.1 mg of iron, or 0.5% of the DV.

On the other hand, Florida avocados are poor sources of iron. They have only 0.17 mg of iron per 100g. They have 72% less iron than California avocados!

Florida avocados are green, smooth-skinned avocados. They’re much larger than California varieties. Still, a whole Florida avocado has 0.52 mg of iron. It provides less than 3% of the DV.

What’s the iron content of other avocado-based foods?

Guacamole, the popular avocado-based dip, has 0.54 mg of iron per 100g, or 3% of the DV. A tbsp provides 0.08 mg of iron, or 0.4% of the DV.

Avocado toast has 1.3 mg of iron per 100g. An avocado toast has approximately 1 mg of iron! A toast provides more than 5% of the DV.

Avocado tuna and salmon rolls are great dietary sources of iron as well. They have 1.5 mg of iron per 100g. A serving provides 2.7 mg of iron, or 15% of the DV.

On the other hand, avocado oil, dressings, and sauces have no iron.

Do avocados have more iron than other common fruits?

Actually, avocados are among the richest fruits in iron! Only goji berries, prunes, currants, berries, and certain dried fruits have a richer iron content than avocados.

Can avocado help us meet our daily needs of iron?

Certainly, California avocados, as part of a well-balanced diet, can help us meet our daily needs of iron. However, you should be very cautious with portion sizes. Overconsumption of avocado can make you fat. Avocado has many calories.

But, reasonable amounts are good for weight loss. Avocados can regulate energy intake. In fact, protein and fiber in avocado promote satiety! Moreover, as avocado is low in carbs and sugar, it doesn’t spike blood sugar levels. We can eat avocado on an empty stomach, between meals, as a healthy snack.

Furthermore, you can eat avocado at dinner or after strenuous exercise. It’s packed with compounds which improve sleep quality and also hydrate the body.

Is the iron of avocado bioavailable?

We absorb only a small percentage of iron of avocado. Actually, most plant-based foods have a low bioavailability of iron. Plants contain compounds, like phytates and polyphenols, which inhibit iron absorption. The bioavailability of iron from vegetarian diets is between 5% and 12%.[2,3]

On the contrary, the bioavailability of iron from mixed diets is up to 18%.

Therefore, it’s highly recommended that vegans, vegetarians, and people who follow a plant-based diet to consume 1.8 times more iron than people who eat meat.

How to increase the absorption of iron of avocado?

First, you can increase the absorption of iron of avocado by consuming many foods with vitamin C. Vitamin C enhances non-heme iron absorption and is a key factor in its bioavailability. Vitamin C can increase nonheme iron absorption up to 270%.

So, you could add lemon juice to your favorite avocado recipes. Lemon juice is particularly rich in vitamin C.

Furthermore, honey could increase iron levels by 20%.

What foods inhibit the absorption of iron of avocado?

On the other hand, high amounts of calcium may inhibit iron absorption. Therefore, better avoid consuming too much milk and dairy with avocado, other iron-rich foods, or iron supplements.

Furthermore, you should avoid drinking too much coffee, tea, or red wine when consuming foods high in iron. These beverages contain high amounts of polyphenols, which bind to iron in the intestine, inhibiting its absorption.

Other foods high in iron

Common foods high in iron are meat, poultry, fisheggs, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, potatoeschocolate, and certain vegetables and fruits.

Moreover, beans, such as green peas, soylentils, and chickpeas are particularly high in iron. A serving provides between 25 and 50% of the DV! Soak and rinse beans to increase the bioavailability of iron.

What’s the recommended daily intake?

Adult men and women older than 51 years require only 8 mg of iron a day.

However, women of reproductive age, and pregnant women require much higher dosages. They require 18 and 27 mg of iron a day, respectively. As women require high dosages of iron, they may have a hard time to meet their daily needs from food. They may benefit from taking an iron supplement. You’ll find a wide variety of iron supplements on iHerb.

Always consult your physician before taking any supplement or changing your diet.

Why is it important to consume many foods with iron?

Iron is a key component of hemoglobin. This protein of red blood cells transfers oxygen from the lungs to the tissues. In addition, iron is involved in energy metabolism, cellular functioning, physical growth, neurological development, and the synthesis of some hormones, amino acids, and collagen.[4]

However, iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency worldwide. It may lead to serious adverse effects, such as gastrointestinal disturbances, impaired cognition, weakened immune function, fatigue, low body temperature, premature delivery, and even miscarriage.[5]

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