How is anemia treated?

To treat anemia, the healthcare provider must first learn what is causing it (a poor diet or a more serious health problem). In that way, the provider can treat the anemia and the cause. Iron-deficiency anemia is treated by increasing the amount of iron the patient gets, either with iron supplements taken by mouth or by eating more foods that are high in iron.

What foods are high in iron?

The iron in food comes from two sources: animals (found in various meats and fish) and plants (found in certain vegetables and in iron-fortified foods such as breakfast cereals).

The following foods are good sources of iron:

  • Oysters
  • Kidney beans
  • Beef liver
  • Tofu
  • Beef (chuck roast, lean ground beef)
  • Turkey leg
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Tuna
  • Eggs
  • Shrimp
  • Peanut butter
  • Leg-of-lamb
  • Brown rice
  • Raisin bran (enriched)
  • Molasses

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 02/02/2018.


  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Anemia. Accessed 2/15/2018.
  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Your Guide to Anemia. Accessed 2/15/2018.
  • American Society of Hematology. Anemia. Accessed 7/1/2020.
  • American Association for Clinical Chemistry/Lab Tests Online. Hemoglobin. Accessed 2/15/2018.

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