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Iron In Foods: The Best Dietary Sources

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Are you feeling weak and tired? Is your performance slipping at school or work? You may be low in iron.

Iron is an essential mineral that helps to carry oxygen from the lungs around the body, according to the CDC. The most noticeable symptom if you don't have enough is feeling tired and weak. People lacking in iron are also likely to be cold, have trouble performing at work or school and may have weaker immune systems.

The Institute of Medicine recommends women ages 19 to 50 get 18 mg of iron a day (men need only 8 mg).

Vegans, long-distance runners, pregnant women and women with heavy periods are all at greater risk for low levels of iron, as are people who donate blood regularly or those with digestion problems that impact how nutrients are absorbed, according to MedlinePlus.

Luckily, it's easy to add more iron to your diet by eating iron-rich foods. It's also a good idea to eat these foods along with some extra vitamin C, which helps your body absorb iron, according to WebMD. Some people opt to take iron supplements instead, but keep in mind they can cause an upset stomach.

Click through the slideshow below to see some of the best (and healthiest!) sources of iron to add to your diet. All iron content counts listed are as reported by the Office of Dietary Supplements at the National Institutes of Health and the CDC, except where noted.

Best Food Sources Of Iron
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Around the Web

Top 10 Iron-Rich Foods: Foods High in Iron

Iron Rich Foods | American Red Cross

Dietary Sources of Iron - McKinley Health Center - University of Illinois

Iron in diet: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia

Iron Rich Foods Sources - Foods High in Iron - The Daily Green

Iron In Foods: Does My Child Get Enough?