Sarah Biren
Sarah Biren
June 23, 2024 ·  9 min read

17 Iron-Rich Fruits To Pump Up Your Iron Levels

Many of our most important bodily activities require a regular supply of iron. Lean meat, shellfish, and leafy greens are ideal iron sources, but fruits can also help you fulfill your daily intake. Just so you know, adult men under 50 should consume 8 mg of iron, while for women, it is 18 mg. If you are over 50, regardless of gender, you need 8 mg of iron daily. Moreover, an exclusively vegetarian diet usually requires 1.8 times these recommended amounts since plant-based iron has more difficulty being absorbed by the body. As such, here are 17 iron-rich fruits (and how much you should have of them) that you can incorporate into your diet.

1. Peaches

Peach close up.
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There are very few things that are better than a juicy peach during the height of summer. These fruits provide not just iron but also other minerals. A medium peach has 0.38 mg or 2.1% DV of iron. They can be pureed for summer cocktails or sorbets. You can also use a griddle to caramelize them or use wine and poach them. They also make good crumbles, tarts, and pies. However, refrigerating them might turn their flesh mealy or floury.

Read More: The 5 Best Iron Supplements Available [Dosage For Deficiency]

2. Watermelon

Ripe striped watermelon isolated on white
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You can’t think of summer fruits and not juicy watermelons? Put in some chunks in fruit salads. Or, you can toss them alongside feta and mind to create a delicious snack. A wedge of delicious watermelon has 0.69 mg of iron, 3.8% of your DV. To check for ripe watermelon, tap it until it sounds hollow. If you buy sliced slices, choose black over white seeds.

3. Dates

Raw Organic Medjool Dates Ready to Eat
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These delicious ripe fruits also provide iron. Pitted dates contain 0.22 mg each. Eating 5 provides 1.1 mg of iron (6% DV). They’re tasty snacks and effective cereal sweeteners. Biscuits, cakes, and other desserts benefit from their taste as well. Also, maybe you didn’t know but try them out with cheese.

4. Prunes

Plum with prunes
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Prunes is the other name for dried plums are quite rich in iron. Half a cup of pitted prunes contains 0.81 mg of iron, 4.5% of your daily intake value. They add rich flavor to sweet and savory recipes. They are amazing additions to spiced fruit pastries, compotes, stews, muesli, and bread. Try prune juice for extra iron. An entire cup of prune Juice has 3.02 mg or 16.7% DV iron.

5. Olives

Green Olives Tree
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You must be already familiar with olives, the Mediterranean specialty that is the mainstay of any good salad. Of course, they also work beautifully with creamy pasta or as pizza toppings. The fruit can also be used to make a tasty tapenade with anchovies and capers. Or, you can just use it as dressing by cutting and adding them to spaghetti and salads. Five huge olives yield 75 mg iron—4% DV.

6. Pumpkins

a lot of mini pumpkin at outdoor farmers market
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Pumpkins are nutritious and fiber-rich. One cooked pumpkin cup contains 1.40 mg of iron, 7.7% of your daily intake. Soups and stews taste creamy with it. Not to mention pumpkin pie, everyone’s favorite dessert! One slice of a pumpkin pie provides 1.97 mg of iron—10.9% DV.

7. Tomatoes

red tomatoes background. Group of tomatoes
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No, they are not vegetables. Biologically, they are fruits. One cup of cooked tomatoes has 1.63 mg of iron, 9% DV. However, raw tomatoes have little iron. Sundried tomatoes and tomato paste concentrate the nutrition, making a smaller meal more nutritious. Tomato puree includes 4.45 mg of iron—nearly 25% DV—per cup. You can use the puree to make pasta sauce, stews, and curries. Sun-dried tomatoes have 2.5 mg of iron (14% DV) per half-cup.

8. Apricots

Delicious ripe apricots in a wooden bowl on the table close-up. Horizontal view from above
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Tagines, stews, and compôtes benefit from the strong sweet-sour flavor of dried apricots. You can also use it for sprinkling on muesli, bread, salads, and stuffing. Half a cup of dried apricots contains 1.73 mg of iron, 9.6% DV.

9. Coconut

Coconut oil on table close-up
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Contrary to its name, a coconut is, in fact, a fruit! A cup of slick, sweet, juicy coconut meat contains 1.94 mg of iron (11% DV). You can use it in Asian sweets or, if you want a twist, make it a salad component. It even suits curries. Coconuts contain 0.94 mg (5.2% DV) of desiccated unsweetened coconut per ounce. So you can bake some lamingtons with it or use it as a baking ingredient. The simplest method is probably to make a Thai curry. It’s quick and it has vegetables too. Coconut cream has 5.47 mg of iron (30.4%DV) per cup.

Read More: 21 Signs of Iron Deficiency That Every Woman Needs to Know About

10. Zante Currants

A pile of dried currants on a wooden chopping board
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You may not have heard of them but they look like dried grapes and they are small and dark. They are zante currants. The most notable difference is that their flavor is quite strong. In half a cup, they provide 2.34 mg of iron or 13% of your DV. They are great ingredients for making jams, summer puddings, and sorbets. Regular raisins can also be a good companion to them as they provide 1.36 mg iron, or 7.5% DV per half-cup. Raisins are fantastic in trail mixes, rice puddings, and stuffed pancakes.

11. Mulberries

Berry fruit in nature, mulberry twig
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Mulberries’ sweet-sour flavor makes them ideal for jellies, puddings, and jams. These berries contain 2.59 mg, or 14.3% DV, per cup. You can eat them alone or with cream and sugar.

12. Raspberries

pile of red raspberries
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One cup of raspberries contains 0.9 mg of iron (5% of DV). Fortunately, it’s easy to add raspberries into a diet, from fresh jam to berry smoothies. At the same time, they provide fiber, vitamin C, vitamin E, manganese, and vitamin K.

13. Figs

Figs contain iron-rich fruits in their raw and dried form. One cup contains 3.3 mg, which is 18% of the DV. They can be eaten on their own, in desserts like fig bars, or in stews with meats and other savory recipes. You can also enjoy them raw, sliced, drizzled with honey with a sprinkling of roasted nuts and clotted cream. 

14. Raisins

Raisins in wooden bowl isolated on white background.
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One hundred grams of dark raisins contain 1.8 mg (10% of the DV). Golden raisins also contain iron but just 1 mg (6% of the DV). Either way, they are great on-the-go, iron-rich fruits whether on their own, in granola bars, muffins, or trail mix.

15. Tomato Paste

Tomato paste in bowl isolated on white background
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As they are, tomatoes contain very little amounts of iron. However, a can of tomato paste can provide over 5 mg of iron, and the sky’s the limit when it comes to using it in recipes. Tomato paste can be used in chili, pasta sauce, soup, shepherd’s pie, curry, and so much more. Its versatility makes it easy to incorporate plant-based iron into one’s diet.

16. Avocado

Avocado also refers to the Avocado tree's fruit, which is botanically a large berry containing a single seed. Avocados are very nutritious and contain a wide variety of nutrients.
Source: Shutterstock

Avocado is already considered a superfood since it’s full of nutrients like potassium, several B vitamins, vitamin E, and vitamin K, as well as healthy fats. But it’s also an iron-rich fruit. One cup of avocado has 8% of the DV (1.40 mg). It’s easy to enjoy this food whether it’s spread on toast or mashed into guacamole.

17. Strawberries

Red ripe strawberries background. Close up, top view.
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A cup of fresh strawberries is already a treat, but to sweeten the deal is 0.7 mg of iron (5% of the DV). These berries are also a good source of vitamin C, manganese, folate, vitamin B6, and more. They can be enjoyed on their own, in smoothies, sorbets, or dipped into chocolate for an extra special treat.

Foods high in Vitamin C: 1. Orange

Orange  with cut in half and green leaves isolated on white background.

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In general, the iron in animal foods like beef is easier for the body to absorb. However, consuming vitamin C can enhance the bioactivity of plant-based iron. So while you are enjoying your iron-rich fruits, add a few more varieties to your smoothies and salads. Top of the list are oranges, the fruit many people think of when discussing vitamin C. 

2. Cantaloupe

Green Melon on blurred greenery background, Cantaloupe Melon fruit in Bamboo mat on wooden table in garden.
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One cup of sliced cantaloupe holds 17.4 mg of vitamin C, and 19% of the DV. Not only that, it’s packed with fiber, vitamin A, and potassium. Shop carefully for a perfectly ripe cantaloupe. It should feel heavy, fairly firm, and have beige thick webbing on the rind.

3. Lemon

Overhead Shot of Lemons with visible Water Drops. Close up.
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One raw lemon has 45 mg of vitamin, a whopping 50% of the DV. Of course, most people don’t eat a lemon the way they’d eat an orange or grapefruit. However, one ounce of lemon juice contains 11.8 mg of vitamin C. So if you can’t eat a slice of the fruit, enjoy lemon water or lemonade (made from real lemons).

4. Lychee

Juicy Lychee with cut in half and leaves  isolated on white background. Clipping path.
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Lychees are tropical fruits with a bumpy red peel, white interior, and stone pit. The white part of the fruit looks similar to grapes but with a flavor similar to pears and berries. They are easy to peel and can be added to fruit salads, or eaten as a snack like cherries. Best of all, only one lychee holds almost 7 mg of vitamin C (7.5% of the DV). 

5. Papaya

Heap of papaya fruit, stacked of papaya background
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One cup of papaya contains 88 mg of vitamin C, which is an impressive 98% of the DV. You can eat papaya raw and cubed like a melon, or you can roast it like a squash and pair it with grains and cooked vegetables. 

6. Kiwi

Ripe whole kiwi fruit and half kiwi fruit isolated on white background
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One medium-sized kiwi contains 56 mg of vitamin C (62% of the DV). It also contains copper, vitamin K, and vitamin E, along with other nutrients. As a result, these little fruits can benefit the body in a number of ways. Vitamin C in particular is known to help strengthen the immune system in addition to helping iron absorption. 

7. Guava

Guava fruit with slices isolated on white background with clipping path and full depth of field. Top view. Flat lay
Source: Shutterstock

Guava is a tropical fruit that looks similar to a pear but tastes a little bit like a combination of pineapple, strawberry, and passionfruit. One guava contains 125 mg of vitamin C, which is 138% of the DV. It also contains good amounts of an antioxidant called lycopene. You can bite into guava like an apple, or cut it into slices. The skin and seeds are completely edible.

8. American persimmons

A healthy pair of unripe American Persimmons (Diospyros virginiana) in late summer. Raleigh, North Carolina.
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Persimmons are sweet fruits that resemble tomatoes. There are many types but the most popular one tends to be the Japanese persimmon. However, American persimmons are higher in vitamin C, with one fruit containing 16.5 mg of vitamin C (18% of the DV). Keep in mind, that persimmons tend to be pricey because of their short season and limited availability.

9. Kakadu plum

Kakadu plum fruit isolated on white background
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The Kakadu plum is native to Australia, and it has a higher concentration of vitamin C than any other food. That includes oranges since the Kakadu plum contains up to 2,907 mg of vitamin in 100 grams. Just one piece that’s 15 grams can contain 436 mg of vitamin C. That’s a whopping 484% of the DV. 

10. Banana

Close up shot of group of bananas

Bananas are well-known for containing potassium but they are also a good source of vitamin C. One medium-sized banana contains 10.3 mg, which is about 12% of the DV. They also provide magnesium, fiber, copper, and dietary antioxidants.

So, which fruit do you think you will incorporate into your diet next? Let us know in the comments!

Read More: Eat This Fruit Daily To Help Preserve Your Bone Health for Years to Come


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  3. 20 Foods That Are High in Vitamin C.” Healthline. Caroline Hill, MHumNutr, BSc and Erin Kelly. January 8, 2024.
  4. Should You Take Iron With Vitamin C?Cleveland Clinic. December 2023.
  5. Interaction of vitamin C and iron.” National Library of Medicine. S R Lynch and J D Cook. 1980