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7 Major Iron Rich Fruits You Should Totally Know

Medically reviewed by Darshita Thakkar, Nutrition Training and Quality Manager for PAN India

Foods are natural sources of nutrients and the one nutrient we are talking about today is iron.  

Iron-rich fruits can be one of the best ways to fulfill your daily iron requirements.

As per the reports by National Family Health Survey, 2015-2016, 53% of Indian women are anemic. Therefore, it is important to include iron-rich food options crucially in your diet.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says, there are around 1.62 billion people with anemia in the world (that contributes to the world’s quarter population) and half of the anemia is due to iron deficiency. 

In fact, iron-deficiency is reportedly one of the top causes of disability in India.

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Iron is one important nutrient whose deficiency may lead to numerous health issues along with anemia.

Like, have you been feeling fatigued or tired? Or is there an abnormal pale coloration on your face? Well, these could be the symptoms of iron deficiency in you. 

5 Major Symptoms of Iron Deficiency

1. Fatigue

It is one of the common symptoms of iron deficiency that is caused due to less amount of oxygen reaching the body tissues.

2. The appearance of a Pale face

Iron deficiency leads to the pale coloration on the face and inner eyelids. This is due to the lower levels of hemoglobin in the body.

3. Short breath

The lower levels of hemoglobin lead to a shortage of oxygen reaching the body tissues, which is characterized by shortness of breath.

4. Headache

Iron deficiency leads to less oxygen reaching the brain which pressurizes the blood vessels leading to headaches.

5. Faster heartbeats

Since the deficiency of iron leads to lower levels of oxygen in the body, the heart starts working faster. This leads to faster heartbeats.

So Get rid of Fatigue, Pale complexion and Shortness of breath, Unexplained Headaches and Faster Heartbeats.

7 Iron-rich fruits

 In order to fulfill your iron requirements, we bring to you 7 iron-rich fruits that you can totally sneak into your diet.

1. Dates

Dates are rich in iron
Dates are rich in iron

100 grams of dates contains 4.79 mg of our daily iron requirement. Besides, being iron-rich fruit, dates are amazing sources of antioxidants.

They contain elements like calcium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, magnesium and zinc, as well as vitamins like thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin A and vitamin K. Dates, are great sources of fiber as well.

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2. Dried Apricots

 A 100 gm of apricot contains 2.7 mg of iron. Not just an iron-rich fruit, dried apricots are excellent sources of dietary fiber too.

Dried Apricots are iron-rich fruits
Dried Apricots are iron-rich fruits

They contain soluble fiber that is responsible for reducing cholesterol. Soluble fiber binds to fatty acids and helps in their removal through excretion.

The type of iron that we get from dried apricots is non-heme iron that is usually not absorbed easily. However, its absorption can be increased by consuming other food sources of vitamin C and heme iron.

3. Berries

Now a 100 gm of berries contains 0.3 mg of iron. Although that is a little low, berries act as iron absorbance boosters.

How? Well, berries are great sources of vitamin C, be it strawberries, blackberries or blueberries.

Vitamin C or ascorbic acid enhances the absorption of non-heme iron by preventing the formation of insoluble iron compounds.

Studies have proven that vitamin C not only improves iron absorption but also, increases cellular iron uptake.

Berries are rich in iron
Berries are rich in iron

Moreover, the vitamin helps in the reduction of a ferric form of iron to ferrous, which is readily absorbed by the body.

4. Prunes

These are the dried plums. These dried versions of our beloved plums are power-packed with vitamins and minerals.

And yes, it is certainly one of the important iron-rich fruits. It has been mentioned as per USDA, that per 100 gram of prunes contains 3.52 mg of iron.

Iron rich prunes
Iron-rich prunes

  These dried plums also contain a good quantity of dietary fiber, vitamin K, B vitamins, calcium, and potassium. You can include prunes into your diet by adding them to your bowl of morning cereals.

5. Watermelon

Not a dried fruits fan? Well, here’s the juiciest fruit which also assists in improving and maintaining an ideal iron level in the body.

According to USDA, 100 grams of watermelon has about 0.24 gm of iron.

Not just that, watermelons are rich in vitamin C, which further increases the efficiency of non-heme iron in the body.

Watermelons are great iron sources
Watermelons are great iron sources

Watermelon is also a good source of lycopene and beta-carotene which helps in increasing iron absorption in the body. Studies have seen the same phenomena though its exact mechanism is yet to be studied more.

6. Pomegranate

100 gms of pomegranate contains 0.3 mg of iron. This iron-rich fruit, pomegranate’s seeds are one of the most common recommended iron-rich fruits for fighting anemia, which is caused due to iron deficiency.

Pomegranate: Rich in Iron
Pomegranate: Rich in Iron

Not just that, pomegranate also contain vitamins, especially vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E, as well as folic acid. Pomegranate helps in reducing the symptoms of iron deficiency.

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7. Raisins

Another iron-rich fruit in the list are raisins, which are basically dried grapes. A 100 gms of raisins contain about 1 mg of iron.

They contain almost twice the amount of iron present in grapes. When grapes are dehydrated to give raisins, the nutrients get more concentrated.

Raisins: Iron Rich Food
Raisins: Iron Rich Food

Besides iron, raisins are also packed with carbohydrates, B vitamins, and potassium. Raisins contain certain members of vitamin B complex that are responsible for the formation of new blood.

Iron requirement

Various factors affect the iron requirement of an individual like

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Physical activity
  • Special requirement as in infancy stage, adolescence or pregnancy.

Moreover, the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vegetarian is 1.8 times higher as compared to a non- vegetarian. This is because of low bioavailability of plant-based iron (non-heme iron) while animal-based iron (heme iron) is easily bioavailable to the body.

Daily Iron requirement
Daily Iron requirement source

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Quick Bytes

Q. What foods are high in iron?

A. 6 Common Foods with Iron

Dark leafy veggies like Spinach

Q. Which nuts are high in iron?

A. Here are the 5 nuts that are high in iron.

  • Pine nuts   10 gms = 0.6 mg of iron
  • Hazelnuts  14 gms = 0.7 mg of iron
  • Pistachios  28 gms = 1.1 mg of iron
  • Almonds     10 gms = 0.5 mg of iron
  • Cashew nuts 10 gms=0.3 mg of iron
Q.Which vegetables are rich in iron?

A. 5 vegetarian iron-rich foods

Dark leafy veggies like Spinach

  • Pumpkin
  • Lentils
  • Tofu
  • Soybeans