Animal based heme iron, which is the type of iron that is more easily absorbed by the body compared to non-heme iron found in plant-based sources.
Heme iron is found only in meat, poultry, seafood, and fish. Absorption rate is not affected by any drugs or nutrients. Non-heme iron is also found in animal products such as eggs or milk/dairy, and it also comprises more than half the iron contained in animal meat.
Non-heme iron, by contrast, is found in plant-based foods like grains, beans, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. Vitamin C can boost its absorption rate.
Beef (Cooked, Lean):
Iron Content: Around 2.1 - 2.7 mg
Beef is a good source of heme iron, which is the type of iron that is more easily absorbed by the body compared to non-heme iron found in plant-based sources.
Iron Content: Around 2.7 - 3.6 mg
Spinach contains non-heme iron, can be improved with the presence of vitamin C and other enhancing factors.
Maca (Dried Powder):
Iron Content: Around 3.8 - 5.2 mg
Maca is a root vegetable that is often consumed in powdered form. It contains non-heme iron and is considered a decent plant-based source of iron.
It's important to note that the iron content listed above is approximate and can vary based on factors such as cooking methods and quality of food. Additionally, the absorption of iron is influenced by other dietary factors, such as the presence of vitamin C and substances that can inhibit absorption (e.g., phytates and tannins).
Majority of Iron supplements on the market are non-heme iron based, and it is believed that consuming whole food has more health benefits.