Natural Sources of Iron

While pregnant I became a bit anemic and needed to get an extra dosage of iron each day. This surprised me somewhat since I regularly cook in an iron skillet (which contributes iron into your diet). Iron supplements can cause constipation so you often have to take a stool softener with them. Eating whole foods is always preferable to taking individual vitamin supplements. This is because the different parts of food work with each other in harmony in order to be most beneficial to the health of our bodies.

At the suggestion of my midwife I started taking a spoonful of unsulphered molasses each day. She also suggested eating Malt-O-Meal for breakfast. One serving contains 60% of the RDA for Iron! Because it’s not what you eat that is most important but what you ABSORB, I took my iron strong foods along with orange juice. It’s high in vitamin C which aids in the absorption of iron found in foods (but not in supplements). Don’t take molasses or other iron-rich foods with milk, tea or coffee as the calcium and phosphorus in milk and the tannic acid in coffee and tea actually interfere with iron absorption. Following this regime my iron levels went up quickly without the problem of constipation.

Here are some excellent natural sources of iron:
Clams, canned (LOTS of iron)
Beef Liver - I only WISH I was one of the people that like it! :(
Red meats
Shrimp
Legumes (especially brown ones)
Tomato juice
Artichoke

Low iron levels can sometimes even be the cause of reduced energy, motivational problems or behavioral problems.  Before seeking seeking more extensive treatment options, you may want to get your iron levels checked just to rule out the possibility of a nutritional deficiency.

  • This is awesome! I just got diagnosed as anemic and this is great to hear someone else getting their iron from food and not pills. My doctor wasn’t as helpful.