I always encourage people to eat more nuts. Not only are they healthy and full of nutrients, but you can eat them unprocessed, raw, and as nature intended.
Today, we’re having a quick look at which nuts are high in iron and how much iron you should, in fact, have each day.
How much iron is in nuts?
Nuts are very high in iron, but that content can vary greatly, depending on the nut. For example, nuts with the highest iron content are cashews. They have an impressive 6.7 mg of iron per 100 grams (3.5 oz).
On the flip side, there are Brazil nuts and pecans that have “only” 2.4 mg and 2.5 mg of iron per 100 grams, respectively.
What nuts are highest in iron?
Although all nuts are high in iron, there is a distinction. The nuts highest in iron are cashews. And nuts lowest in iron are pecans and Brazil nuts.
|Nut type||Iron content in mg|
The recommended daily intake of iron for women (19-50 years old) is 18 mg. For men (19-50), that’s 8 mg. See chart below for more info.
Cashews are first on our list of nuts high in iron. It’s because they are really high in iron. A 3.5 oz serving (100 grams) of cashews holds 6.7 mg of iron. That’s 37% of RDA for women and an extraordinary 84% for men.
However, that many cashews might be a few too many. So, let’s see how much one ounce holds. One ounce (28.4 g) has 1.9 mg, which is still plenty for a fistful of cashews.
But what other nutrients do cashews have? You’ll be happy to know that cashews are also high in Copper (110%), Phosphorus (85%), Magnesium (82%), Manganese (79%), and Zinc (61%). They also do contain a decent amount of potassium.
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2. Pine Nuts
Pine nuts aren’t that popular for some reason. I enjoy them but also often overlook them when shopping for nuts.
That’s a shame because they are second on our list of iron-rich nuts. Pine nuts have other names like pignoli and are rich in many vitamins and minerals, iron included. A 3.5 oz serving of pine nuts contains an excellent 5.5 mg of iron.
That’s 30% of your RDA for women and almost 69% for men! Besides iron, pine nuts are high in Manganese (419%), Phosphorus (82%), Magnesium (71%), Zinc (67%), and Copper (65%).
Hazelnuts are very popular and very high in iron. They’re literally everywhere which is a bit concerning when you have a hazelnut allergy as I do.
However, those that can enjoy them will be happy to see that a 3.5 oz serving of hazelnuts has 4.7 mg of iron or 26% of the RDA for women and 58% for men.
By eating 20 hazelnuts, you’re getting 1.3 mg of iron. That’s four times more than what a banana has, for example.
Hazelnuts aren’t only rich in iron, they’re also high in fiber, proteins, vitamin B6, magnesium, calcium, and vitamin C.
OK, peanuts aren’t technically nuts, but we associate them with nuts all the time. It’s a bit weird that peanut isn’t a nut, to be honest.
Nevertheless, peanuts are high in iron. Raw peanuts, especially. 3.5 oz of raw peanuts has 4.6 mg of iron which is 25% of the daily value for women and 57% for men.
If that’s too much for you, a one-ounce serving will still give you a decent amount of iron – 7-16% of the RDA. Peanuts are also very calorie-dense so it’s better not to overindulge in them.
It’s also best to choose raw peanuts. That’s because dry-roasted and oil-roasted peanuts have much much lower amounts of iron in them.
If you do choose roasted peanuts though, dry-roasted are better than oil-roasted ones.
Pistachio nuts are my favorite snack food. They also help me get off my phone because I need to use both hands to eat them.
Pistachios are also rich in iron and other vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B6, potassium, magnesium, and fiber.
A 3.5 oz serving of pistachio nuts includes 3.9 mg of iron or 21% of RDA for women and 49% for men.
I’ll be honest, three and a half ounces of pistachios are nothing for me. But it may be too much for you. A smaller amount will suffice as well.
For instance, only one ounce of pistachios holds nearly 50 kernels and has 6-14% of DV for iron. Coupled with other iron-rich foods, that’s quite enough.
Next up, we have almonds. Almonds are quite high in iron as well. That’s good news because they’re used in many products, foods, and meals. A 3.5 oz serving of almonds retains 3.7 mg of iron or 20-46% of RDA for iron.
They’re also very high in Vitamin E (171%), Manganese (109%), Riboflavin (85%), Magnesium (75%), Phosphorus (69%), and Copper (50%).
7. Macadamia Nuts
Macadamia nuts are another nut that’s quite rich in iron. A 3.5 oz (100 g) serving of macadamia nuts has 3.7 mg iron. That’s exactly the same amount as in almonds.
If you eat this amount of macadamia, you’ll get 20% of RDA for women and 46% for men. Macadamia nuts are also high in Manganese (195%), Thiamine (104%), and other vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Walnuts are not one of my favorites, to be honest. But they are exceptionally high in iron. Not cashew high, but, nevertheless, high.
3.5 oz of walnuts contains 2.9 mg of iron. That’s 16% RDA for women and 36% for men.
A 3.5 oz serving will contain 50 shelled walnut halves or one standard cup.
That cup of walnuts contains nearly 30% of RDA for fiber, nearly 40% for magnesium, 25% for vitamin B6, etc. So, don’t be like me and eat more walnuts!
Pecans are mostly used for baking cakes and pastry and aren’t especially loved as snack food. However, they are a good source of fiber and iron. 3.5 oz of pecans retains 2.5 mg of iron. That’s 14% of RDA for women and 31% for men.
Although they have nearly three times less iron than cashews, they do have a very respectable amount.
Pecans are also extremely high in Manganese (214%), Thiamine (57%), and Zinc (48%), and quite high in Phosphorus (40%), Magnesium (34%), and many other nutrients.
10. Brazil Nuts
Brazil nuts are last on our list. However, they’re also high in iron. Brazil nuts contain 2.4 mg per 3.5 oz (100 g) serving. That’s still 13% of your RDA if you’re an adult woman or 30% if you’re a man.
The same serving of Brazil nuts also serves nearly 100% of your daily magnesium needs and 30% of fiber.
That concludes our list of nuts that are rich in iron. However, please check out the RDA table below for recommended daily intake of iron for different age groups.
Recommended intakes for iron
The suggested daily intake of iron depends on your age and sex. It was created by the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) at the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies.
|RDAs for Iron|
|0-6 months||0.27 mg||0.27 mg|
|7-12 months||11 mg||11 mg|
|1-3 years||7 mg||7 mg|
|4-8 years||10 mg||10 mg|
|9-13 years||8 mg||8 mg|
|14-18 years||11 mg||15 mg||27 mg||10 mg|
|19-50 years||8 mg||18 mg||27 mg||9 mg|
|51+ years||8 mg||8 mg|
Nuts are very rich in iron, and you should definitely include more of them in your diet. Which ones you choose is up to you; we did show you which nuts have the highest amount of iron and which ones have the lowest.