Baked Potatoes: A Surprising Source Of Iron

  • By: VidJovanovic
  • Date: October 19, 2022
  • Time to read: 6 min.

Potatoes are a staple in many diets around the world. They are cheap, filling, and versatile. But are they healthy?

One question that often comes up is whether potatoes are a good source of iron. Iron is an important mineral that helps our bodies function properly. It’s vital for carrying oxygen in the blood and supporting a healthy immune system.

So, are baked potatoes a good source of iron? Read on to find out.

Key Takeaways

  • Baked potatoes are a good source of iron.
  • They are also a good source of fiber.
  • Baked potatoes can help you meet your daily recommended intake of vegetables.
  • Baked potatoes are low in calories and fat.
  • Baked potatoes are a healthy food choice for people with diabetes.
Bake potato with loaded toppings of cheese and herbs.
Baked Potatoes_ A Surprising Source Of Iron

Are Baked Potatoes A Good Source Of Iron?

An excellent source of iron is baked potatoes. The absorption of iron from baked potatoes is about the same as the absorption of iron from other vegetables. However, baked potatoes contain much less iron than animal-based foods.

The most typical cause of anemia is iron deficiency, which can cause weakness, fatigue, and weight loss. The recommended dietary allowance for iron is 8 mg per day for men and 18 mg per day for women.

The best way to get enough iron is to eat a variety of iron-rich foods, including animal- and plant-based foods.

Baked potatoes are a good source of antioxidants and dietary fiber. Additionally, they have few calories, little fat, and no sodium or cholesterol. Baked potatoes are a good choice for people on gluten-free or low-carb diets.

A 100-gram serving of baked potato contains 2 mg of iron, which is 10% of the RDA for men and 11% of the RDA for women.

Baked Potatoes Are A Good Source Of Iron

Baked potato with the topping of cheese and chives.
Baked Potatoes Are A Good Source Of Iron

Iron, a mineral that aids in the production of red blood cells in the body, may be found in abundance in baked potatoes. Iron is found in many foods, including meat, poultry, fish, tofu, beans, and lentils.

Baked potatoes contain 2 mg of iron per serving (1 medium potato).

They Are Also A Good Source Of Fiber

Fiber is a carbohydrate that your body can’t break down and digest. It helps maintain bowel health and keep things moving smoothly through your digestive tract.

Fiber also helps you feel full, so you won’t overeat, which means it can reduce the risk of obesity and promote weight loss.

Fiber also has several other benefits:

  • It helps lower cholesterol levels by binding with bile acids made from cholesterol.
  • It regulates blood sugar levels by slowing down how quickly glucose is absorbed into the bloodstream after eating carbohydrates.

Baked Potatoes Can Help You Regulate Your Blood Sugar Levels

Baked potato with topping of cheese and bacon and some herbs.
Baked Potatoes Can Help You Regulate Your Blood Sugar Levels

Baked potatoes are a good source of fiber. The Mayo Clinic explains that fiber helps to regulate your blood sugar levels, supports your digestive system and can help you feel full for longer.

This makes potatoes ideal for people with diabetes since they will keep you feeling full and satisfied longer than other foods.

But even if you don’t have diabetes, eating baked potatoes regularly can help you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight because they’re so filling.

They Can Also Help You Maintain A Healthy Weight

Baked potatoes have less fat and calories, making them an excellent source of fiber.

Fiber is important for maintaining a healthy weight because it helps you feel full longer—and that’s good for your waistline, too.

Baked Potatoes Are Low In Calories And Fat

Baked potatoes are low in calories and fat. Approximately 100 calories and 0.5 grams of fat are present in one medium potato, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database (0.5 g).

That’s not much at all compared to other types of food. Other common sources of calories include:

  • One slice of cheese pizza: 220 calories
  • One serving (1 cup) of vanilla frozen yogurt: 160 calories

So you can see that even though baked potatoes are delicious, they’re also very low in calories compared with other foods that people typically eat for lunch or dinner.

They Are Also A Good Source Of Vitamins And Minerals

Potatoes also provide vitamin A, vitamin B6, and vitamin C. Potassium, sodium, calcium and iron are also found in significant amounts in baked potatoes.

Potassium helps regulate your heart rate and blood pressure, while sodium assists with muscle contraction and nerve function.

Calcium helps build strong bones, while iron is used to produce red blood cells that help carry oxygen to cells around your body.

Potatoes contain small amounts of copper, manganese and magnesium, as well as zinc, phosphorus and selenium, which may help protect against cancer or heart disease, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

A medium potato contains about 142 calories, according to the USDA’s Nutrient Data Laboratory. Still, only 4% of those calories come from fat, so they’re a good way to get some extra nutrients.

Why Are Baked Potatoes A Good Source Of Iron?

In case you’re wondering, iron is a mineral important for forming red blood cells and transporting oxygen to your body’s tissues.

Additionally, it’s one of the most prevalent nutritional deficits in both women and children. It can lead to anemia, which causes fatigue and weakness, among other symptoms such as irritability or dizziness.

To get enough iron, many people take supplements or eat foods high in iron (like spinach). But there’s another way: eating baked potatoes.

Despite the fact that they are less popular than other sources of iron like beef liver or oysters, potatoes are quite high in this essential nutrient.

They contain almost twice as much per serving as black beans—almost five times more than lentils.

How Many Calories Are In A Baked Potato?

Baked potatoes are a versatile side dish you can enjoy in almost any meal. If you want to make a baked potato even more filling, try topping it with broccoli and cheese or add bacon and sour cream.

You can skip the toppings and use your baked potato as a base for other ingredients like chili or pulled pork.

But let’s say you want to get healthier or reduce some weight. In that case, it’s important to be mindful of how many calories are in your favorite foods, so you don’t consume too many calories overall.

To help keep track of those extra calories, here’s an overview of how many calories there are in various sizes of baked potatoes:

  • A medium-sized potato contains about 150 calories (about 10% of your daily recommended intake).
  • A large-sized potato contains about 200 (12%).
  • A giant-sized one clocks in at 300 (16%).

What Are Other Nutrients In A Baked Potato?

Potatoes are also a good source of vitamin C, thiamine, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid and potassium. Potatoes are a fair source of magnesium.

Vitamin B6 is important for energy metabolism and growth and development in children. Vitamin B6 can help protect against heart disease when eaten at least twice per week in combination with other B vitamins (B1 and B2). Iron-rich foods like baked potatoes may help prevent anemia due to low iron intake by boosting hemoglobin levels.


Yes, baked potatoes are a good source of iron. A medium-sized potato contains about 3 mg of iron, about 17% of the daily recommended value for adults. Potatoes are also a good source of other nutrients like potassium, vitamin C, and fiber.

So, if you’re looking for a nutritious way to add more iron to your diet, baked potatoes are a great option. 

Just be sure to eat them with the skin on them for maximum benefit. And be sure to check out our other articles on healthy eating for more tips and tricks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to eat raw potato skins when cooking them myself?

Raw potato skins can be consumed as part of a healthy diet, but it is best to cook them first. Eating raw potatoes can lead to food poisoning because of the chance of parasites being ingested.

What is the best way to cook my potatoes?

Boiling, roasting, or microwaving potatoes are good ways to cook a potato. Simply wash and slice the potatoes into thin strips before cooking.

Are there any other benefits to eating potatoes cooked this way?

Yes, potatoes cooked this way are a good source of vitamin B6 and iron.

What other ways can I boost the iron content in my diet?

Iron-rich foods like spinach, liver, and beef can help boost iron intake. Not to mention vitamin C can also help absorb iron from food.


Vid Jovanovic

I’m Vid Jovanovic and I’m 36 years old. I’m a teacher by profession and my passion lies in baking. I have been baking since my early teens, when my grandmother taught me how to make a simple cake that you can find in any supermarket. My passion for baking grew as I got older and I started experimenting with different ingredients and recipes.