Centar za nutricionizam i dijetetiku inga markovic

The lack of iron in the human body causes hypochromic anemia. A bad diet is the main cause of it, usually, so it is believed that every fifth person in the world suffers from this type of anemia. The first symptoms of the lack of iron emerge a lot earlier than the actual disease, which are exhaustion, weakness, paleness, headaches, irritability, heart palpitations, tiredness, the lack of concentration, weakened immune system, and tendency to get infections.

The intake of iron is possible through food only. Besides specific food properties, sex, age, the physiological condition as well as body’s iron reserves affect the absorption of iron. Women absorb higher percentages of iron than men because of bigger needs, while kids absorb more iron through food than adults. Interestingly, pregnant women absorb higher amounts of iron from other women in the generative age, as well.

The best source of iron that the human body can absorb is in the food of animal origin like red meat, especially beef, and pork, beef, and chicken liver.

In order for our bodies to absorb iron, the presence of vitamin C is necessary, which we can also get from food rich in this vitamin. Citrus fruits like oranges, tangerines, lemons, grapefruits, etc. are the best choice, followed by bell peppers, broccoli, and other fruits and vegetables.

The selection of groceries with high levels of iron

The type of groceries

Groceries high in iron

Grain and grain products

Whole grains, pumpernickel bread, graham bread, rye bread, wholemeal pasta, oats, oat bran, oatmeal


Fresh cow milk, fresh cow cheese, fermented dairy products like all kinds of yogurt

Meat, fish, and eggs

Meat: beef, chicken, turkey, veal, lamb.
Fish: seafood and sea fish
Eggs: egg yolk


Leafy vegetables like lettuce, spinach, parsley, kale, cabbage, celery leaf, mangel, kohlrabi
Legumes like beans, soy, and lentils
Potatoes, carrots, onions, tomatoes, corn, beetroots, bell peppers


Cherries, figs, peaches, grapes, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, black currant, citrus fruit, apricots. Dried fruit like grapes, figs, walnuts, peanuts, and pistachios.

The rest

Cocoa, beetroot juice, dill, dark chocolate, and nettle.

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