You know it’s in: Red meat, chicken liver
Surprising sources: Iron aids in delivering oxygen to cells throughout the body, so if you don’t get enough, it can lead to fatigue and decreased immunity. But if you’re not a fan of beef, don’t panic, as this essential mineral is found in many other foods in even higher amounts.
One form of iron, called heme iron, is better absorbed by the body and found solely in animal foods, Neville explains. Crack open a can of oysters for more than three times the iron found in lean top sirloin per ounce and a heck of a lot better taste than chicken liver.
The other type of iron, nonheme, is found in plant foods such as a cup of cooked soybeans or lentils, which provide 48 percent and 37 percent of your DV, respectively. Beans, including kidney, lima, black-eye peas, and navy, will all get you at least a quarter of your daily iron per cup. And while Popeye’s favorite isn’t the best source, spinach does have a decent amount: 18 percent DV in a half cup cooked.
To help your body absorb nonheme iron, pair plant sources with vitamin C-rich foods, Neville says. For example, when making a salad with beans or lentils should include some orange segments or red bell pepper slices, or top it with a dressing made with lime or lemon juice, she suggests.