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Iron-Rich Foods to Fuel Your Health in the UK

What is Iron?


Iron is an essential mineral that contributes to regular functioning of our bodies. It plays a central role in the production of haemoglobin. Heamoglobin is a protein within our red blood cells that transports oxygen to all our tissues. 

The average daily requirement for iron, advised by the NHS, is as follows:

  • 8.7mg for men over 19 years old
  • 14.8mg for women over 19 - 49 years old
  • 8.7mg for women over 50

Women between 19 & 49 years old generally need more iron to support high blood loss through periods & pregnancy.

An iron deficiency is fairly common in UK diets, which can lead to anemia, fatigue, and decreased cognitive function. This can be combatted by consciously choosing to add these iron rich foods into your diet. Here are the top 5 foods rich in iron in the UK.



Iron-Rich Foods to Fuel Your Health in the UK

1. Lean Red Meat (Beef and Lamb)

It may not be suitable for all diets, but lean red meat, including beef and lamb, are a fantastic source of iron. A 100g serving of cooked beef offers around 2.6 milligrams of iron. Including lean red meat in your diet can help prevent iron deficiency and boost energy levels.

2. Liver

Liver is not the most popular food, but it's highly nutritious and dense with quality iron. A 100 gram serving of cooked liver can provide an astounding 6.2 milligrams of iron. While it certainly isn’t the most exciting option, occasionally adding liver to your diet can significantly impact your iron intake.

3. Spinach

Vegan or vegetarian? Then load up on spinach. Spinach is a nutritional powerhouse, packed with iron. A 100-gram serving contains approximately 2.7 milligrams of iron, making it a valuable source. You can incorporate spinach into most lunch or dinner recipes with relative ease.

4. Fortified Cereals

Another great option for people who prefer plant based sources of iron is fortified cereals. Many breakfast cereals in the UK are enriched with iron, providing an accessible way to increase your iron intake. 

A typical serving of fortified cereal can contain up to 8 milligrams of iron per bowl, depending on the brand and type. Check product labels to find the most iron-rich choices. We recommend that you check the product labels before purchasing, and choose brands that are lower in added sugar.

5. Legumes (Lentils, Chickpeas, and Beans)

Legumes, such as chickpeas, beans & lentils are another plant-based source of iron. A 100 gram serving of cooked lentils contains around 3.3 milligrams of iron. Chickpeas, beans & legumes are also packed with fibre & protein that make them a great option as a stable dietary addition. For any meat eaters looking to cut down, try replacing meat with chickpeas & beans.



Benefits of Iron

Iron plays an essential role in maintaining good health. So supplementing or consuming iron-rich foods (like the above) can offer many advantages. Some of the most studied have included:

Prevention of Anaemia

It is estimated that around 25% of the world suffers from Anaemia. Iron is essential for the production of haemoglobin, which carries oxygen to the body's tissues. Adequate iron intake helps prevent iron-deficiency anaemia, which can lead to fatigue, weakness, and pale skin.

Contributes to Energy

The facilitation of blood flow means an increase in transportation of red blood cells. Transportation of red blood cells means that oxygen is being effectively pumped throughout the body. This makes Iron a key player in energy production, and maintaining healthy iron levels can help combat fatigue and increase overall energy levels.

Enhanced Cognitive Function

Iron is an essential element for brain metabolism. The brain takes up around 2% of the bodies mass, but uses around 20% of the glucose in our bodies. So metabolism is crucial. Adequate iron intake has been associated with improved cognitive function, memory, and overall brain health.

We’ve made Iron an important addition to our Calming Cocoa blend. Find out more here.

Immune System Support

Studies have suggested that Iron contributes to a robust immune system, assisting the body in warding off infections and illnesses. This is because proteins produced by Iron interact with bacteria supporting the immune system.

Healthy Pregnancy

As we touched on above, Iron is particularly crucial during pregnancy to support the increased blood volume and oxygen needs of both the mother and the developing baby. It is also essential for women when managing blood levels during heavy menstrual bleeding.



In conclusion, iron is a vital mineral for overall well-being, and including iron-rich foods in your diet is essential to prevent iron deficiency. Lean red meat, liver, shellfish, fortified cereals, and legumes are among the top sources of iron in the UK. By incorporating these foods into your meals, you can ensure that you're getting enough iron to maintain good health and vitality.

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