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How much iron is in that food?

how much iron is in that food

Ensure your iron intake satisfies the RDI amount relevant to your gender and age by eating a variety of iron-rich food.

  • 8mg for all men, and women aged 51 years and older.
  • 18mg for women aged 19-50 years.

Iron is an important component of our blood’s oxygen-carrying molecule, haemoglobin, which transports oxygen from the lungs to all other tissues in the body. The recommended dietary intake (RDI) for iron is 8mg per day for men of all ages, and for women 51 and over. For younger women the RDI is 18mg iron per day due to iron losses during menstruation.


5.3mg iron per 120g (cooked)
Men = 66% day's worth
Women = 29% day's worth

Green mussels

8.6mg iron per 1/2 cup
Men = 108% day's worth
Women = 48% day's worth

Chicken breast

2.3mg iron per 120g (cooked)
Men = 29% day's worth
Women =  13% day's worth

Prime beef mince

3.4mg iron per 3/4 cup (cooked)
Men = 43% day's worth
Women = 19% day's worth

Pams chickpeas

1.6mg iron per 1/2 cup
Men = 11% day's worth
Women = 5% day's worth

Sanitarium Weet-Bix Bites — Golden Crumble

3mg iron per 45g
Men = 21% day's worth
Women = 9% day's worth

Bean Supreme Firm Style Tofu

5.4mg iron per 100g
Men = 39% day's worth
Women = 17% day's worth

Broccoli florets

1.3mg iron per cup (cooked)
Men = 9% day's worth
Women = 4% day's worth

Bürgen Mixed Grain Sandwich Bread

1.5mg iron per 2 slices
Men = 11% day's worth
Women = 5% day's worth


1.2mg iron per egg (cooked)
Men = 9% day's worth
Women = 4% day's worth

The two forms of iron are haem and non-haem iron. Haem iron is found in haemoglobin and is only found in animal products. Non-haem iron is found in a range of plant and animal sources. Haem iron is more readily absorbed by the body than non-haem iron. This means if you don’t eat meat, you will need to consume about 80 per cent more iron each day to make sure you’re getting enough. You can boost the amount of non-haem iron you absorb by having a vitamin C-rich food at the same time, such as adding lemon juice to salad.

For a vegetarian diet

  • 32mg for women aged 19-50 years.
  • 14mg for all men, and women aged 51 years and older.

Did you know?

  • It is possible to overdose on iron. Young children risk iron toxicity if they accidentally eat adult iron supplements. A genetic condition also exists called haemochromatosis. This affects about one in 200 New Zealanders, who are unable to regulate the amount of iron they absorb from their gut. This causes overloading and possible organ failure, if blood isn’t taken regularly.
  • Despite Popeye’s strength, iron is not the greatest source of iron. A cup of raw spinach only contains around 1mg iron, and spinach also contains oxalic acid, which binds with iron and inhibits its absorption.

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