You should be able to get all your iron your body needs with a healthy diet.

Iron can be both found in meat and non-meat products.

How much iron do I need?

The amount of iron you need is:

  • 8.7mg a day for men over 18
  • 14.8mg a day for women aged 19 to 50
  • 8.7mg a day for women over 50

Women who lose a lot of blood during their monthly period are at higher risk of iron deficiency anaemia and may need to take iron supplements.

Good sources of iron

Good sources of iron include:

  • almost dark-green leafy vegetables – such as watercress and broccoli 
  • beans
  • iver (but avoid during pregnancy)
  • meat
  • nuts
  • dried fruit – such as dried apricots
  • wholegrains – such as brown pasta and rice
  • fortified breakfast cereals

Most of the iron (60%) in the body is contained in hemoglobin, which is the essential oxygen carry protein in the blood.