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Test Your Iron Smarts

Iron is essential for oxygen to be transported by the blood throughout the body, for oxygen to be used by cells, for synthesis of some hormones and connective tissue, and for production of energy. A deficiency can lead to anemia, fatigue, depression, learning problems, and poor immunity. Do you know where to get it, and how much you need? Find out by taking our quiz.

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1. Which of these contains the most iron in a 3.5 oz serving?

a) Beef

b) Pork

c) Chicken

d) Bison

e) Salmon

2. Which of these groups needs the most iron?

a) Teenage girls

b) Teenage boys

c) Women up to age 50

d) Women after age 50

e) Men

3. Women need the most iron when they are:

a) Pregnant

b) Breast feeding

4. Multivitamins for women always contain iron.

a) True

b) False

5. Food contains how many different types of iron?

a) 1

b) 2

c) 3

6. Which of these diets is most likely to be deficient in iron?

a) Paleo

b) Gluten-free

c) Dairy-free

d) Low-carb

e) Vegan

7. Chocolate can be a good source of iron.

a) True

b) False

8. Which of these foods contains the most iron?

a) 1 large hard-boiled egg

b) ½ cup of broccoli

c) ½ cup of spinach

d) ½ cup of chickpeas

e) ½ cup of kidney beans

Did you know?
In the 1920s, iron was one of the ingredients in multivitamin and mineral supplements promoted for “pep.”

Quiz Answers

1. d) Bison. Here’s the iron content of a 3.5 oz serving in milligrams, highest first: bison 3.42, beef 2.72-2.99, chicken 1.21, pork 1.0, salmon 0.5.

2. c) Women ages 19-50 who are not pregnant or breast feeding need 18 mg daily. These are daily requirements for others: 8 mg for all men and women after age 50, 15 mg for teenage girls, and 11 mg for teenage boys.

3. a) Women who are pregnant need 27 mg daily, and those who are breast feeding need 10 mg daily between the ages of 14 and 18, and 9 mg after age 18.

4. b) Multivitamins formulated for women of child-bearing age do contain iron, but those for postmenopausal women typically do not, as women’s iron requirements decrease after menopause.

5. b) Food contains two different types of iron: heme and nonheme. The type of iron depends upon the food source. Heme iron is more easily absorbed.

6. e) Assuming the other diets don’t exclude meat and seafood, a vegan diet is most likely to fall short on iron, because the iron in plant foods is typically nonheme iron, which is not absorbed as well as heme iron found in meat and seafood.

7. a) Dark chocolate with 45-69 percent cacao solids contains 7 mg of iron in a 3-oz serving.

8. c) The spinach contains 3 mg of iron. Kidney beans and chickpeas each contain 2 mg, and the broccoli and egg each contain 1 mg.