Healthy Eating for Penny Pinchers: Iron-Rich Foods

I’ve had anemia problems for a number of years (runs in my family), so I’m careful in making sure I eat iron-rich foods.

A lot of people think that the only way to get iron is through red meat, but there are actually many sources of iron outside of meat and liver, which can be both expensive and not too healthy in large quantities. Here are some items that will ensure you are getting a good amount of iron but not breaking the bank.

Iron-rich foods include cooked & canned beans, cooked lentils, almonds, pumpkin seeds, dried fruit like prunes & raisins, baked potatoes (skin on), beets, and breakfast cereals that are iron-enriched (i.e. manufacturer adds iron to them). Most of these will cost you less than .50 per serving.

It’s important to note that when you eat iron-rich foods, it’s also a good idea to pair them with with foods that have lots of Vitamin C, which helps you absorb the iron you are ingesting (especially with non-heme [not from an animal] iron). Citrus fruits, tomatoes, red & green bell peppers, brussel sprouts, and broccoli are all good sources of Vitamin C.

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