Iron is one of the harder nutrients to get enough of on a plant-based diet.
As we’re about to look at, fruits are relatively low in iron, although some are better than others.
Realistically, fruits can help you reach your iron targets, but you would have to eat a ton to get enough iron.
However, fruits are also typically high in vitamin C, which improves iron absorption, so they’re good foods to eat alongside other foods high in iron. We’ll look at this in a bit more detail as well.
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How Much Iron Do You Need Per Day?
Let’s put iron consumption in context before looking at any data.
The RDA does vary based on age and gender. Adult men should aim for at least 8 mg for the day, while women should aim for 18 mg.
If a woman is pregnant, they need even more. Look up your specific case if you think the above RDAs do not apply to you.
Fruits High in Iron
I compiled all the data below from the USDA’s nutrition database per 100 gram serving of each fruit.
For reference, most people eat 100-200 grams in an actual serving (e.g a banana is just over 100 g usually).
|Food||Iron (mg)||Iron (% RDA)|
Which Fruit is Best for Iron?
Dried dates have just under 1 mg of iron per 100 gram serving and have the most of any fruit. However, they are also much higher in calories and sugar since they’re a dried food.
Blackberries and plantains are the next highest in iron, with about 3% of the RDA for an adult woman.
Are Other Plant-Based Foods Better Than Fruit For Iron?
Fruits are pretty much the worst plant-based source of iron when compared to the other main types of foods.
However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t eat fruit if you’re trying to get more iron.
Iron found in plants is non-heme iron, which absorbs significantly worse than heme iron (from animal products).
I’ve written a detailed guide to vitamin C and iron absorption, but the short story is that vitamin C greatly improves the absorption of non-heme iron.
It just so happens that fruits are among the best sources of vitamin C, making them a great complement for any other plant-based iron source.