Iron is an essential mineral that is critical for many of the body’s functions. It is needed to make proteins, such as hemoglobin and myoglobin. Hemoglobin is the protein present in red blood cells that carries oxygen from our lungs to our tissues, while myoglobin helps supply oxygen to our muscles.
A 1-cup serving of green vegetables provides 1-3 milligrams of iron, depending on which vegetable you choose.
A 1/2-cup serving of beans provides 2-3 milligrams. A bowl of a typical iron-fortified cereal has 18 milligrams.
The recommended dietary allowance for adult males and for women over 50 is 8 milligrams per day. For women aged 19-50, the RDA is 18 milligrams per day (it’s higher to compensate for menstrual losses).