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Snack Foods High in Iron

author image Michelle Kerns
Michelle Kerns writes for a variety of print and online publications and specializes in literature and science topics. She has served as a book columnist since 2008 and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. Kerns studied English literature and neurology at UC Davis.
Snack Foods High in Iron
Dried fruit is a good source of iron. Photo Credit: gojak/iStock/Getty Images

Unless you're careful to include plenty of iron-rich foods in your diet, you might not be getting enough iron. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that nearly 10 percent of 12- to 49-year old women and girls in the United States are deficient in the mineral. Men should have 8 milligrams each day, while women between 19 and 50 need 18 milligrams daily. If you lack iron, you have a higher risk of anemia and may be more susceptible to infections. Choose healthy, nutrient-dense snacks high in iron to help you reach your requirement.

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Stock Up on Seeds

A 1-ounce serving of roasted pumpkin seeds contains 2.3 milligrams of iron, or over 28 percent of a man's recommended daily allowance and almost 13 percent of a woman's requirement per day. Roasted sunflower seeds contain 1 milligram of iron in every ounce. Although the non-heme iron contained in plant foods like seeds isn't well absorbed by the body, you can increase the amount you receive by snacking on them with a source of vitamin C, such as a handful of strawberries

Delectable Dried Fruit

Dried apricots provide 1.7 milligrams of iron in a 1/2-cup serving, an amount that fulfills 21 percent of the daily iron intake for men and almost 10 percent of the requirement for women. A small box of seedless raisins -- typically 1.5 ounces of the dried fruit -- contains 0.81 milligrams of iron. While dried fruit in moderation is healthy, all types are high in sugar and may increase your chance of tooth decay. Mail Online advises pairing a snack of dried fruit with a small amount of cheese to help protect your teeth from the acid produced by bacteria.

Slip in Some Nuts

Each 1/4-cup of cashews contains 2.1 milligrams of iron. For a man, this would fulfill 26 percent of his RDA of the mineral. For a woman, it would supply nearly 12 percent of her RDA. Almonds have 1.3 milligrams of iron in each 1/4-cup serving, which is 16 percent of the requirement for men and 7.2 percent for a woman. A handful of dry-roasted, unsalted nuts along with a piece of vitamin C-rich fruit such as grapefruit or strawberries is a snack dense with absorbable iron, says registered dietitian Shannon Crocker.

Bountiful Broccoli

A cup of raw broccoli supplies almost 8 percent of the day's recommendation of iron for a man and almost 4 percent of the RDA for a woman with its 1.1 milligrams of the mineral. By snacking on the broccoli with a low-fat dip prepared from tahini, a paste made from sesame seeds, you can boost your iron intake -- each 1-tablespoon serving of tahini provides 1.3 milligrams of iron. Try using tahini to make nutritious dips like hummus or baba ghanoush to serve alongside broccoli at snack time.

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