Fruit with a lot of iron: the big overview

Obst mit viel Eisen: Der große Überblick

Do you want to eat healthy? Then you should also pay attention to how much iron you consume. Because iron is one of the most important trace elements and has many vital functions in your body. Incorrect dosing can lead to harmful iron deficiency or excess iron. It is therefore worthwhile for you to delve deeper into the topic.

In this article you will find out which types of fruit are among the top sources of iron and what the exact iron content of the fruit is. In addition, we have previously put together the most important information on the subject of iron and explained aspects such as inhibition of iron absorption and iron deficiency.

the essentials in brief

  • Iron is an essential trace element of which women need 15 milligrams and men 10 milligrams per day. A daily amount of 30 milligrams is recommended for pregnant women.
  • Your body can absorb animal iron three times better than iron from plants. There are also inhibitors of iron absorption, e.g. B. in coffee and red wine, while vitamin C improves the absorption of iron.
  • Iron-rich fruits include goji berries, persimmons, dried apricots, and figs. In addition, almost all types of fruit provide some iron. Many fruits are particularly suitable because of their high vitamin C content.

Hectic lifestyle?
No problem!

With our Sundt iron capsules + vitamin C you can:

  • keep your energy levels high on the most stressful days🏃
  • be sure you are getting enough iron🌿

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*The discount is automatically applied to the product

The role of iron in the body: what you need to know

Before we go into more detail about the specific types of fruit with a lot of iron, we would first like to give you important answers to questions about the function of iron in the human body. Here you will find important background information and useful tips on taking iron.

What is iron and what is it needed for in the body?

Iron is a trace element that is vital for the body and that we have to absorb through food. Iron plays a particularly important role in the blood and is partly responsible for the red colour.


Many types of fruit contain iron. This is especially the case with dried fruits. Iron has many important functions in the body and is very important for heart health, among other things. (Image Source: 123rf/udra)

Iron is fundamentally important for hemoglobin, i.e. the blood pigment. Hemoglobin binds oxygen and is therefore responsible for the transport of oxygen and carbon dioxide. The mitochondria also need iron to produce energy (1,2).

You can see the red coloring caused by iron in many foods, such as beef. Therefore, the red color can sometimes give you an indication of the iron content.

What happens to the iron in our body?

After eating, the iron enters the gastrointestinal tract and is absorbed there. However, we humans do not have 100% receptivity. Only 5 to 15 percent of the iron in food is absorbed or used by the body. Most of it is simply excreted (3).

How well iron is absorbed from food depends on the type of iron. A distinction is made between animal iron, also known as heme iron, and vegetable iron, which is also known as non-heme iron (3).

The animal iron from meat or fish, for example, can be absorbed three times better by our body. Plant-based foods often contain less iron, which means that it is also poorly absorbed. Therefore, you need to consume more of it if you want to meet your needs without animal products (3).

In addition, the absorption of iron can also be improved or inhibited by various substances in food.

What is the daily iron requirement of people?

According to the German Society for Nutrition e. V. (DGE), depending on their age, children need between 8 and 15 milligrams of iron per day. Adolescents and adults, on the other hand, have a daily iron requirement of 10 to 15 milligrams (5,6).

Women need 15 milligrams and men 10 milligrams of iron a day.

Women generally need a little more iron than men because of menstruation, among other things. A daily amount of 30 milligrams of iron is recommended for pregnant women.

Even after pregnancy and possibly during breastfeeding, there is an increased need for iron of around 20 milligrams per day (3,5).

What inhibits iron absorption?

Iron absorption can be inhibited by some substances in food. You should pay particular attention to this when consuming coffee, dairy products, black tea, cola, red wine and white flour products.

The substances that inhibit iron absorption include magnesium and especially calcium. In addition, plant proteins also inhibit absorption. Other inhibitors are the so-called phytic and oxalic acid, which are found, for example, in cereal products such as spinach and cocoa (3).

If you're consuming extra iron-rich foods, try to avoid products like coffee at least 30 minutes to an hour beforehand. In this way you avoid a sharp reduction in your iron intake.

So-called polyphenols also belong to the inhibitors of iron. They are contained in plants and ensure e.g. B. also with drinks such as coffee and red wine for a poorer absorption of our body.

How can I improve iron absorption?

Foods high in vitamin C can improve iron absorption. That is why, for example, fruits such as black currants, orange juice or vegetables such as peppers or broccoli are very suitable as side dishes if you eat iron-rich dishes (3).

Fruits with vitamin C

Whether as a snack or as a juice, fruits with vitamin C improve the absorption of iron in your body. They also provide you with a variety of other healthy vitamins. (Image source: serezniy/ 123rf)

In general, it can be said that foods with a low pH value, i.e. acidic foods, promote the absorption of iron. This includes the fruit acids that you find in all fruits and fruit juices. This is one of the reasons why many types of fruit are well suited for improved iron absorption. Fruit baskets with many different types of fruit are therefore perfect as support for iron absorption.

Is it possible to have an excess of iron in the blood?

Excess iron or hemochromatosis can result from your diet or genetics and can have a negative impact on your health. In this case, the iron is deposited in the organs.

The heart, the liver, but also the pancreas, the pituitary gland and the joints are often particularly affected. This can lead to symptoms of poisoning and damage to the tissue (2).

The symptoms are varied and can include, for example, fatigue and pain in the chest and other parts of the body. Heart disease, cirrhosis of the liver or even pancreatic cancer can also develop (4).

As a rule, an excess of iron is caused by an inherited metabolic disease that causes the body to absorb more iron.

However, an excess of iron can also occur if you take in too much iron through your diet, e.g. when eating a lot of meat or through iron supplements (7).

If you suffer from an excess of iron, medical treatment is extremely important. There are various treatment options such as bloodletting, in which some blood is continuously removed, or treatment with medication. In any case, consult your doctor.

What should I watch out for if I have an iron deficiency?

First of all, an iron deficiency can occur if you don't eat enough iron-rich foods. Since vegetable iron is more difficult for the body to absorb and there are substances in food that inhibit iron absorption, improper nutrition can also lead to this (3).

Another reason for an iron deficiency can be an increased iron requirement or increased iron loss, e.g. B. during pregnancy or after regular blood donations (3).

Taking some medications and some diseases in the gastrointestinal tract can also result in an iron deficiency. In the case of the diseases, there can be an iron absorption disorder, which is why you cannot get enough iron from food.

The symptoms can be very different, conceivable are e.g. B. Heart problems, tiredness or problems with the oral mucosa or hair (1).

Iron deficiency should always be treated under medical supervision. Iron supplements can often B. be prescribed in the form of tablets for a few months. However, the treatment is individually tailored to you, which is why it is important that you consult your doctor.

Which fruits have a lot of iron?

Now we would like to show you exactly which types of fruit you can eat to meet your daily iron requirements. You will also find out in a compact summary which other foods can be ideal iron suppliers for you.

Top fruit variety iron content Daily requirement (10-15 milligrams)
goji berries 6.8 milligrams per 100 grams 200 grams
Dried apricots 4.4 milligrams per 100 grams 340 grams
Dried figs 3.3 milligrams per 100 grams 450 grams
persimmon 2.5 milligrams per 100 grams 500 grams

Hectic lifestyle?
No problem!

With our Sundt iron capsules + vitamin C you can:

  • keep your energy levels high on the most stressful days🏃
  • be sure you are getting enough iron🌿

Our vegan iron capsules are now available with a 21% discount *

Sunt Icon

*The discount is automatically applied to the product

In addition to iron, fruit also contains many vitamins. You should pay particular attention to the amount of a specific vitamin in the fruit. Vitamin C improves the absorption of iron and is found in abundance in many types of fruit. As a result, fruit is well suited to eating healthily in relation to iron.

goji berries

100 grams of goji berries contain 6.8 milligrams of iron. So you would have to consume around 200 grams per day to meet your needs.

Dried apricots and figs

To meet your daily iron requirement, you would need to eat about 340 grams of dried apricots. Because they contain 4.4 milligrams of iron in a quantity of 100 grams.

Dried figs are also among the fruits with a lot of iron. However, you would have to consume about 450 grams of dried figs to cover your daily requirement. They provide you with 3.3 milligrams of iron in a quantity of 100 grams.


Persimmons have 2.5 milligrams of iron per 100 grams. Accordingly, depending on the size, you can already absorb around 4-5 milligrams of iron with one persimmon. They are also high in vitamin A.

Black currants, raspberries and strawberries

You won't usually be able to get your daily iron requirement from just blackcurrants. Nevertheless, they are very suitable in combination with other iron-containing foods, just 125 grams provide you with 1.6 milligrams of iron. They also contain a lot of vitamin C, which optimizes absorption.

The same applies to raspberries as to blackcurrants. If you buy a classic 125 gram bowl of raspberries, you can take in 1.3 milligrams of iron.

Strawberries not only taste delicious, they also contain a lot of vitamin C. You can also cover 1.6 milligrams of your daily iron requirement with 250 grams of strawberries.

Other types of fruit with iron

Of course, in addition to the fruit types mentioned above, there are many more that contain iron. The following fruits and fruit varieties have an iron content of 0.1 to 0.3 milligrams in a quantity of 100 grams:

  • kiwis
  • peaches
  • cherries
  • pineapple
  • Grapes
  • lychee
  • bananas
  • melons
  • plums
  • pears
  • oranges

Although some types of fruit do not have very large amounts of iron per 100 grams, they provide you with e.g. B. in a fruit salad still a lot of iron, since you can eat larger amounts of fruit in this case.

Which foods besides fruit contain a lot of iron?

Iron is also found in the following foods:

  • Vegetables and legumes: They are important sources of iron for vegetarians and vegans. Legumes such as mung beans and lentils (8.2 milligrams / per 100 grams), vegetables such as kale, asparagus and mushrooms such as chanterelles (6.5 milligrams) supply your body with iron.
  • Herbs: They have the most iron. The leader is thyme with almost 124 milligrams of iron per 100 grams. However, the amounts of herbs used in our dishes are usually rather small, which means that other foods are better iron suppliers.
  • Meat: Meat is probably the best source of iron, since many meat products contain a lot of iron and animal iron is particularly well absorbed. Liver in particular has a lot of it, duck liver provides you with 30 milligrams of iron and pork liver with 20 grams.
  • Supplements (tablets, juices, capsules): In general, you should only consume iron through food and your diet. In the case of an iron deficiency, iron supplements can also be used, but in this case you should consult your doctor beforehand.

The alternatives mentioned above give you many other options for getting enough iron through your diet in addition to fruit.

Incidentally, spinach does not contain as much iron as is often wrongly assumed. In fact, spinach has 2.7 milligrams of iron per 100 grams and oxalic acid, which inhibits iron absorption. Spinach is therefore not an ideal source of iron.


As a trace element, iron is very important for your health. Animal iron can be absorbed three times better than plant iron. If you take too little or too much of it, iron deficiency or excess can occur and harm your body. Iron absorption can B. be inhibited by coffee. Fortunately, many fruits contain iron and vitamin C, which improves iron absorption.

Since fruit isn't one of the greatest sources of iron, it might be difficult to meet your daily iron requirements from just fruit. However, you can combine the animal or vegetable iron sources mentioned above with fruit to meet the daily requirement of 10 milligrams for men or 15 milligrams for women.


  1. Saba Haddad, Yong Wang, Bruno Galy, Mortimer Korf-Klingebiel, Valentin Hirsch, Abdul M. Baru, Fatemeh Rostami, Marc R. Reboll, Jörg Heineke, Ulrich Flögel, Stephanie Groos, André Renner, Karl Toischer, Fabian Zimmermann, Stefan Engeli , Jens Jordan, Johann Bauersachs, Matthias W. Hentze, Kai C. Wollert, Tibor Kempf, Iron-regulatory proteins secure iron availability in cardiomyocytes to prevent heart failure, European Heart Journal, Volume 38, Issue 5, 1 February 2017, Pages 362 -372 sources
  2. Kohgo, Y., Ikuta, K., Ohtake, T. et al. Body iron metabolism and pathophysiology of iron overload. Int J Hematol 88, 7-15 (2008). Source
  3. Joann M McDermid, Bo Lönnerdal, Iron, Advances in Nutrition, Volume 3, Issue 4, July 2012, Pages 532-533, Source
  4. Timmers, PRHJ, Wilson, JF, Joshi, PK et al. Multivariate genomic scan implicates novel loci and haem metabolism in human aging. Nat Commun 11, 3570 (2020). Source
  5. German Society for Nutrition e. V. Reference Values ​​for Iron Source
  6. Shao J, Richards B, Kaciroti N et al. Contribution of iron status at birth to infant iron status at 9 months: data from a prospective maternal-infant birth cohort in China. Eur J Clin Nutr (2020). Source
  7. Schirm S, Scholz M A biomathematical model of human erythropoiesis and iron metabolism. Sci Rep 10, 8602 (2020). Source
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