Why Spirulina Is Such A Good Source Of Iron, From A Functional MD

Iron is one of the most important nutrients, affecting a number of functions in the body. Just ask integrative family physician Madiha Saeed, M.D.

“It supports your energy levels; it helps your cognitive function and supports development and growth overall,” she says on the mindbodygreen podcast. “It supports the immune system and even positive mood.”

In terms of the best foods high in iron, your mind may fixate on animal sources, like fish and organ meats, or perhaps beans and spinach for a plant-based option. But according to Saeed, one famously rich source is commonly overlooked: spirulina.

“One of my favorite sources of iron is spirulina,” Saeed declares. “You don’t even need that much—one ounce has eight milligrams of iron, which is awesome.” (For reference one ounce converts to 28 grams.)

And just one tablespoon (which equals seven grams) contains 11% of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of iron. “Whereas three ounces of organic beef liver has about 4.05 milligrams, so these plant-based foods can actually have a lot of iron in them,” Saeed continues.

Not to mention, spirulina is chock-full of important minerals, like magnesium, potassium, and manganese.