Recipes Rich in Iron to Eat During Menstruation

It's perfectly normal to feel tired during your period. This is why we'll give you some recipes rich in iron to eat during menstruation.
Recipes Rich in Iron to Eat During Menstruation

Last update: 08 June, 2021

The menstrual cycle may occur every 28-35 days, and it usually appears for the first time when girls are between nine and twelve years old. In addition, it lasts until women are between 45 to 50 years old. During menstrual cycles, there’s vaginal bleeding for approximately five to seven days, leading to a loss in iron. This is why we’ll give you some recipes rich in iron to eat during menstruation.

Some information about iron

First of all, iron is in blood cells, and it’s in charge of carrying oxygen and reducing oxidative damage. Another important fact is that there’s heme and nonheme iron. Heme iron comes from animal source foods, which absorb better than nonheme iron, which comes from vegetables.

Notwithstanding, there’s a way of enhancing iron absorption. In order to do this, you can combine foods with vitamin C sources, such as lemons, oranges, tangerines, peppers, kiwis, and pineapples. On the contrary, try to avoid combining foods rich in iron with coffee, tea, milk, yogurts, or cheeses. This is due to the number of tannins and calcium because they compete for the same transport protein.

You can find iron in the following foods:

  • Shellfish (clams, common cockles, mussels).
  • Meat, especially red meat.
  • Fish and shrimp.
  • Eggs, especially in the yolk.
  • Oatmeal.
  • Legumes (chickpeas, lentils, and green beans).
  • Green leafy vegetables (Swiss chard, spinach, and watercress).
  • Nuts and dehydrated fruits (almonds, hazels, pine nuts, pistachios, raisins, dried peach, dried figs, prunes, and shredded coconut).
  • Sunflower seeds.
Vegetables rich in iron.

It’s important to bear in mind that from nine years old the daily amount of iron required is 15 mg. These needs are modified by the iron loss (approximately per day) during menstruation. It’s important to pay attention to this fact because there’s a risk of suffering from anemia. Besides, the iron loss may cause fatigue.

Recipes rich in iron

Next, we’ll give you some recipes rich in iron to eat during menstruation. Take note!

Lentil pate, nuts, watercress, and dried tomato sandwich


  • 1.5 – 2 ounces of wholewheat bread.
  • 7 ounces of cooked lentils.
  • 2.6 ounces of nuts.
  • 1 spoon of tahini sauce (crushed toasted sesame seeds).
  • Dried tomatoes.
  • Extra virgin olive oil.
  • Thyme.
  • Salt.
  • 1.4 ounces of watercress.


First of all, grind the lentils with the tahini sauce, the nuts, the thyme and the olive oil until the mix becomes a cream. Add salt. Then, open the bread in half and spread the pate. Next, wash the watercress and drain them well. Finally, put the watercress on the pate and add the dried tomatoes.

Oatmeal, dried peach, and coconut bars: recipes rich in iron


  •  7 ounces of oat flakes.
  • 2.8 ounces of dried peaches.
  • 1.4 ounces of almonds.
  • Shredded coconut.
Oatmeal bar.


Mince and mix all the ingredients in the mincer. Finally, use a spoon to put the preparation into individual molds. You can save them in the fridge or freezer to make them last longer.

Sautéed chickpeas with Swiss chard and peppers


  • 28 ounces of boiled chickpeas.
  • 5 ounces of Swiss chard.
  • 2 red peppers.
  • Extra virgin olive oil.
  • Salt.


First, wash the Swiss chard with water and edible bleach, and remove all the dirt. Then, dry well and cook it with steam and a splash of oil to keep it from sticking. 

Meanwhile, wash and dice the peppers. Remember to stir the Swiss chard so it doesn’t burn. Once ready, put it on a plate and set it aside. Use the same pan to cook the peppers with oil. Once they’re soft, add the chickpeas and the Swiss chard, and mix everything together. Finally, use the condiments you prefer the most.

Sticky rice with clams and shrimp: recipes rich in iron


  • Fish broth.
  • 1 onion.
  • 1 ripe tomato.
  • 8.4 ounces of brown rice.
  • 12 red shrimps.
  • 12 clams.
  • Extra virgin olive oil.
  • Salt.
Brown rice.


First, put water to boil in a pot. Then, wash the tomatoes and mark a cross in them using a knife. Next, add the tomatoes to the boiling water for at least two minutes. This is way, you’ll be able to peel them more easily.

Then, peel the onions and the shrimps. Dice the onions and fry them with oil in a pan. Remember to stir the preparation so it doesn’t burn. Once the onions become golden brown, add the shredded tomatoes. Meanwhile, open the clams using steam, remove the dirt and clean them well. 

When the water from the tomatoes starts evaporating, add the rice. Let it become golden brown, and then cover it with the broth. As the broth evaporates, continue adding more. After 20-25 minutes check if the rice is cooked, and remove it from the heat. Let it stand for a while and serve it.

The importance of knowing recipes rich in iron to eat during menstruation

A we’ve mentioned before, you have to choose different foods that are rich in iron and combine them. Furthermore, you should include acidic fruits in your recipes or eat them as a dessert. Another good idea is to add lemon juice at the end of the preparations. As a result, you’ll be recovering the iron you may lose when you’re menstruating


All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

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  • Danza de fogones (2018) Cocina vegana gourmet. Editorial Oberón, España
  • de Lourdes Samaniego-Vaesken, M; Partearroyo, T; Olza, J; Aranceta-Bartrina, J; Gil, A;  González-Gross, M et al (2017) Nutrients, 9(3): 203.
  • Dev, S; Babitt, J L (2017) Overview of iron metabolism in health and disease. Hemodial Int, Suppl 1: 6-20. 
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  • Lainé, F; Angeli, A; Ropert, M; Jezequel, C; Bardou-Jacquet, E; Deugnier, Y et al (2016) Variations of Hepcidin and Iron-Status Parameters During the Menstrual Cycle in Healthy Women. Br J Haematol, 175 (5): 980-82. 
  • Mayo Clinic. Anemia por deficiencia de hierro. Enero 2022. 
  • Morck T. A, Lynch S. R, et al. Inhibition of food iron absorption by coffee. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Marzo 1983. 37 (3): 416-20. 
  • National Institutes of Health. Office of Dietary Supplements. Hierro. Abril 2022. U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. 
  • Nooddle. Buscar por ingredientes. [Consultado el 17 de junio de 2020] Disponible en: 
  • Virginia García y Lucía Martinez. (2016) Cocina vegana. Editorial Oberon, España.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.