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How much iron do we need daily?

How much iron do we need daily?

Balanced diet is one of the important factors in our daily functioning. A lack of iron in the blood is often the cause of difficulties in facing everyday challenges, but how much iron do we really need and in which diet can we find it?

Why do we need iron? 

Iron has a key role in oxygen transportation through the body. It is a mineral that takes part in important processes of energy production that our organism uses for everyday activities and proper functioning of the immune system. However, we should be careful with supplements because both deficit and surpluses can cause problems for one's organism.

Lack of this important mineral can cause fatigue, heart palpitations, poor concentration, headache, exhaustion and many other health problems. A person with iron deficiency can also have pale skin, brittle nails and increased hair loss. Mouth and tongue sores can also be indicators of anemia, due to the weakened immunity that is caused by it.

 The good news is, we can balance our iron intake via food and supplements. Find out more about it in the continuation of this text.

Why do we need iron

Where can we find iron?

About 18% of the population suffers from iron deficiency, writes Chewwies. The best way to prevent it is by consuming food rich in iron and taking supplements if needed. Also, vitamin C consumption is very important because it maintains iron absorption.

Meat and fish consumption is a great way of taking daily needed iron, but there is also good news for all the vegans out there: Fruits and vegetables, as well as legumes and seeds are great choices too. 

Liver and viscera are known to be “natural cure” for iron deficiency, containing  5.9 to 6.5 mg of iron (per 100g). Some of the other great sources of iron are red meat like beef and veal (3,6mg), dark poultry meat (1.7mg), sardines(2.9),tuna (1.0).

Regarding vegan diet, spinach is one of the best choices (2.5mg/90g), weather cooked or in a smoothie, it will increase your iron blood count. Dry apricots contain even 6 milligrams of iron per 100 grams. Some other great examples are beans (2mg), lens (3mg), sunflower seeds (6.4mg), chia (7.5mg) etc.

 vitamin C

How much iron do we need daily?

It depends on your health, age and gender. Children need more iron because of growth. Boys and girls between the age of 4-8 need up to 10 milligrams of iron per day, unlike those between 9 and 13 that need up to 8 mg. 

Starting from adolescence, women will need more iron due to menstruation (women between the age of 19 and 50). They need up to 18 milligrams of iron per day. On the other hand, a healthy young man will get his daily need for iron satisfied by taking the minimum of 8 milligrams of iron.

Some groups of people can be more endangered with a shortage of iron and therefore should consider increase their iron uptake via food or supplements : 

  • Pregnant women 
  • Women who breastfeed
  • People with gastrointestinal problems 
  • Vegetarians or vegans
  • People with ulcer

People who exercise regularly

Old age and iron deficiency

Iron deficiency is a problem seen more among the older populations. The main reasons are low iron intake and lower capacity to absorb. Also, some health conditions like chronic diseases can affect absorption, transportation and storage of the iron in the body. Some of the recommendations are balanced and healthy diet and regular medical check ups.


Iron is a very important mineral, necessary for our organism to function properly. Recommended amount of iron per day is 15 mg for women and 10 mg for men. Some groups, though, need to consider an increase in iron intake, due to their higher needs or lower abilities to absorb. Balanced diet enhanced with vitamin C should provide your body with enough iron and increase its ability to absorb it.