Pumping Iron: 5 Veggies with the Highest Iron Content

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While meat, poultry and seafood are some of the best sources of iron, they’re not the only ones. Plenty of veggies help you get more of the mineral in your diet. Men need 8 milligrams of iron daily and women require 18 milligrams per day, reports the Office of Dietary Supplements. Meet your daily recommendation with the help of certain iron-rich vegetables.

5 Collard Greens

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If you’ve ever had traditional southern-style cuisine, odds are you’ve sampled collard greens. They are a staple of the south and full of iron. One cup of cooked collard greens contains 2.2 milligrams of iron. Not too shabby for a leafy green veggie that you may have overlooked at the grocery store.

4 Mushrooms

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Anytime you top your pizza, pasta or even salad with mushrooms, you’re adding iron to your dish. Cooked white button mushrooms give you 2.7 milligrams of iron per cup. Not all mushrooms are created equal, however. The same amount of cooked shitake mushrooms, for example, has just 0.6 milligrams of iron.

3 Turnip Greens

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After purchasing whole turnips, you probably chop off and throw away the greens. Next time, save the greens and sauté them in a touch of olive oil. You’ll have a quick side dish that pairs delightfully with any protein, and as an added bonus, a 1-cup portion offers 3.2 milligrams of iron.

2 Pea Pods

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Peas in edible pods are perfect for dipping and a quick way to up your iron intake. A portion of pea pods weighing 5.5 ounces provides 3.8 milligrams of iron. Don’t like the chewy texture of the pods? No problem. You’ll still get 2.4 milligrams of iron from a full heaping 1-cup serving of peas.

1 Spinach

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Were you forced to eat spinach as a kid? If so, you may be grossed out by it now as an adult. Learn to love it anyway, because the dark green leaves are jam-packed with plenty of iron. Just 1 cup of cooked spinach has nearly 6.5 milligrams of iron. Filling your salad bowl with 3 cups of raw spinach adds about 2.5 milligrams of iron to your diet.

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