Most fruits have a low iron content. Only certain fruits, such as avocado, goji berries, raisins as well as some other dried fruits are high in iron.
How much iron do we need a day?
Most people need about 8-18 mg of iron per day.
Actually, our iron needs depend on age and sex:
- kids need about 7-11 mg of iron per day.
- women of reproductive age have much higher iron needs. They require about 18 mg of iron a day. Pregnant women require even more.
- men and elderly people need only 8 mg per day.
So, we have to consume many foods high in iron. We can’t get too much iron from foods. Only from dietary supplements.
Common fruits high in iron
The richest fruits in iron are:
- goji berries with (6.43 mg)
- raisins (2.59 -3.1 mg)
- prunes (1.12 mg)
- currants (1 mg)
- raspberries (0.76 mg)
- blackberries (0.62 mg)
- avocado (0.61 mg)
- lemon (0.6 mg)
- cherries (0.53 mg)
- strawberries (0.41 mg)
Actually, prune and raspberry juices are the richest beverages in iron!
Other common fruits with decent amounts of iron are:
- apricots (0.39 mg)
- figs (0.37 mg)
- grapes (0.36 mg)
- kiwi (0.31 mg)
- pomegranates (0.3 mg)
- blueberries (0.28 mg)
- banana (0.26 mg)
- peaches (0.25 mg)
- watermelon (0.24 mg)
- cranberries (0.23 mg)
Other common fruits such as apples (0.13 mg), oranges (0.1 mg), grapefruits (0.09 mg), or pears (0.18 mg) have a low iron content.
Tropical fruits with some iron are:
- durian (0.43 mg)
- pineapple (0.29 mg)
- papaya (0.25 mg)
- mango (0.16 mg)
- dragonfruit (0.15 mg)
Which is the richest fruit in iron?
Goji berries are the richest fruits in iron. Just a tbsp of dried goji berries contains 1.9 mg of iron, or more than 10% of the recommended daily intake! Moreover, goji berries are particularly rich in calcium.
Dried fruits have more iron than fresh fruits
Dried fruits contain much more iron than fresh fruits. Goji berries, raisins, prunes, figs. currants, and dates can help us meet our daily needs of iron.
Whenever possible, prefer uncooked dried fruits. They contain much more iron than cooked dried fruits. For instance, stewed figs contain only 0.88 mg per 100g. Uncooked dried figs contain 130% more iron! Furthermore, cooked foods may inhibit iron absorption.
How to absorb more iron from fruits?
Above all, vitamin C significantly improves the absorption of non-heme iron. The type of iron which is naturally present in plants. Fruits and vegetables are the best dietary sources of vitamin C.
Moreover, you should avoid drinking tea, coffee, and red wine when you consume fruits rich in iron. These beverages are pretty high in polyphenols, which inhibit iron absorption. Actually, they can reduce iron absorption up to 83%.
Also, you should avoid consuming foods rich in calcium, like milk and dairy, when you eat iron-rich fruits. Calcium also inhibits iron absorption.
Foods with more iron than fruits
Actually, common foods rich in iron are fortified cereals, beans, dark chocolate, lentils, spinach, soy products, beets, chickpeas, tomatoes, potatoes, cashew nuts, green peas, rice, whole-grain bread, pistachio nuts, and broccoli.
Last, but not least, honey increases iron levels by 20%.