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Having low or deficient levels of iron is common. In fact, iron deficiency anemia is the most common nutrient deficiency in the world. It affects up to 11% of women of reproductive age in the United States (
If you have low iron levels or have received a diagnosis of iron deficiency anemia, a healthcare professional may recommend that you take supplements.
In more serious cases, they may also prescribe intravenous (IV) iron infusions.
In addition, you may be instructed to increase your dietary intake of iron.
Eating and drinking more sources of both heme (animal-based) and non-heme (plant-based) iron can help increase your body’s iron stores and maintain iron levels in the appropriate range.
If you have anemia, it’s important that you follow a doctor’s recommendations for supplements or other treatment options.
In many cases, simply increasing your dietary intake may not be enough to raise your body’s iron to healthy levels.
Here are 7 drinks that are high in iron.
Although not technically a beverage, Floradix is a liquid iron supplement that’s a good choice for people with low iron stores.
Floradix is a plant-based formula that contains extracts like carrot root, stinging nettle, spinach leaves, kelp, rosehip, and hibiscus flowers along with added iron in the form of ferrous gluconate and B vitamins.
A 0.34-ounce (10-mL) serving provides 10 mg, or 56% of the daily value (DV), of iron. It also provides over 100% of the DV for the vitamins B12, B6, thiamine, and riboflavin (3).
It’s suggested that adults take one serving of Floradix twice daily. It’s important to note that Floradix is considered a dietary supplement, not a beverage, so it’s important to stick to the recommended serving sizes.
Prunes, or dried plums, are naturally high in non-heme iron. In fact, just 1 cup (240 mL) of prune juice delivers 17% of the DV for this mineral (
While drinking prune juice could help you meet your daily iron needs, it’s important to note that non-heme iron isn’t as bioavailable as heme iron or the iron found in supplements. This means that your body can’t absorb it as well (
For this reason, you shouldn’t rely solely on prune juice or any other source of non-heme iron for your iron intake — especially if you have anemia.
In order to maintain healthy iron levels, it’s best to consume a mix of non-heme and heme iron on a daily basis.
Aviva Romm is a medical doctor who specializes in functional medicine. This is a medicine system that focuses on addressing the root cause of a health condition.
For people who have low iron stores or iron deficiency anemia, Romm recommends consuming iron-rich foods like:
- lean red meat
Romm also suggests taking supplements when necessary.
Additionally, Romm suggests making Herbal Iron Tonic Syrup and taking 1–2 tablespoons per day to boost your iron stores. You’ll need:
- 1/2 ounce (14 grams) of dried dandelion root
- 1/2 ounce (14 grams) of dried yellow dock root
- 1/2 cup (120 mL) of blackstrap molasses
Place the roots in a quart jar, cover with boiling water, and let sit for 4–8 hours. Strain into a pot and simmer until there’s around 1 cup (250 mL) of liquid left. Stir in the molasses, then remove from the heat.
You can store the tonic syrup in the refrigerator for up to several weeks.
The ingredients used in this syrup are high in non-heme iron. For example, a 0.5-ounce (15-mL) serving of blackstrap molasses contains 20% of the DV for iron (
Romm recommends purchasing the ingredients from Mountain Rose Herbs.
Greens — including spinach, purslane, beet greens, Swiss chard, dock, and turnip greens — are among the best sources of non-heme iron you can eat.
As such, making green juice at home or purchasing premade versions at your local health food store or cafe can help you meet your daily iron needs.
Add greens plus other iron-rich ingredients, like parsley, to your homemade green juices. Also, experiment with adding fruits high in vitamin C like lemons, grapefruit, or oranges to improve the absorption of non-heme iron (7).
Try out this green juice recipe that packs 15% of the DV for iron per 1-cup (240-mL) serving. Simply add the following ingredients to a juicer and enjoy ice-cold:
- 1 peeled lemon
- 1/2 cup (30 grams) of fresh parsley
- 2 pears, cut into wedges
- 3 cups (243 grams) of fresh spinach
- 6 celery sticks
Alternatively, you can try green powders, another good source of iron. For example, a 1-teaspoon (5-mg) serving of Super Green Mix from YourSuper.com delivers 8% of the DV for this mineral.
Pea protein powder has more iron than other protein powders like whey.
Pea protein is versatile and can be enjoyed in shakes or smoothies. For extra iron, use it in drinks alongside other ingredients that provide iron.
For example, use pea protein powder in this Green Protein Smoothie recipe that combines vanilla protein powder with spinach, unsweetened coconut milk, frozen bananas, and peanut butter.
In addition to iron, this smoothie is rich in protein, healthy fats, and fiber, plus vitamins and minerals like potassium and vitamin C.
When purchasing pea protein, look for unsweetened varieties or flavored products containing only natural sweeteners like monk fruit or stevia.
NOW Sports Nutrition Unflavored Pea Protein is a good choice for a protein powder that can be used in dishes like oatmeal and chia pudding as well as in smoothies and shakes.
In addition to being excellent sources of magnesium, manganese, copper, and phosphorus, cocoa products like cacao nibs, cocoa powder, and cacao powder are high in iron.
For example, a 1/4-cup (20-gram) serving of Navitas cacao powder provides 16% of the DV for iron (
And beef liver is one of the richest natural sources of heme iron that you can eat. However, many people don’t like the taste.
Conveniently, you can easily add beef liver powder to recipes like smoothies to boost their iron content while masking the liver taste.
A 2-tablespoon (20-gram) serving of NOW Argentine Beef Liver Powder contains 8% of the DV for iron in a highly absorbable form. Plus, it’s rich in protein and vitamins B12 and B6.
Combining cacao powder and beef liver powder in a smoothie provides both heme and non-heme iron and is an excellent way to boost your intake of this mineral. It also provides other nutrients that many people don’t get enough of, including B12 and magnesium (
Smoothies are a convenient way to combine multiple sources of iron.
This spinach, cashew, raspberry, and coconut smoothie is a tasty way to increase your daily iron intake. These foods are all good sources of non-heme iron.
In a blender, combine 1 cup (81 grams) of fresh spinach, 2 cups (240 grams) of frozen raspberries, 2 tablespoons (32 grams) of cashew butter, and 1 scoop of unsweetened pea protein powder.
Cover with unsweetened cashew, coconut, or almond milk and blend until smooth.
Cashew butter provides 11% of the DV for iron per 2-tablespoon (32-gram) serving. Thanks to its creaminess, it’s a perfect smoothie addition. Plus, it’s high in plant-based protein (
If you have low iron stores or have been diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia, it’s important to follow a healthcare professional’s recommendations.
These may include:
- taking supplements
- undergoing iron infusion
- eating more iron-rich foods like:
- lean meats
In addition, choosing beverages high in iron can be helpful.
Try out some of the beverages listed in this article to add some delicious and convenient sources of iron — as well as many other important nutrients — to your diet.
Just one thing
Try this today: If you’re low in iron or have anemia, it’s important to add multiple sources of iron to your diet.
Eating both heme and non-heme iron from foods like fish, chicken, lentils, and pumpkin seeds may help you maintain healthy iron stores and increase your iron levels.
However, some people may need iron supplements or even infusions to reach optimal levels, so it’s important to talk with a healthcare professional about the best treatment plan for your specific needs.