If you’re trying to figure out how much iron is the “right” amount of iron, know this: Women need more than twice as much iron daily as men. The Recommended Dietary Allowance1 of iron, according to the National Academies, is 18 milligrams for women (27 grams during pregnancy) and 8 milligrams for men.
If you’re dealing with low iron status (and stores), then your needs will be even higher for several months until iron stores can be re-established.
While you don’t need to count every speck of iron going into your body to ensure you have enough, you should be mindful of what foods you’re consuming and be sure to add some iron-rich picks to each meal.
To make your grocery trip a bit easier, here’s a quick list of iron-containing foods, sans red meat.