Though we are living in an amazing moment where we recognize the potential healing power of what we eat, it's not necessarily accurate to think of food as medicine. Yes, supplementing your diet with iron-rich foods is a great step in the right direction and can help bolster and maintain healthy iron levels, but it's just as essential to talk to your physician (and never self-diagnose).
"There are many causes of anemia and many other conditions that can spark similar symptoms," confirms Moskovitz. "Additionally, iron supplements are only necessary if you are diagnosed with iron deficiency or iron-deficiency anemia. They should not be taken otherwise, and you should always ask your doctor before taking any kind of supplement."
Either way, there's no harm in increasing your intake of iron-rich foods; your health will likely only be the better for it. In fact, many of Smith's and Moskovitz's recommendations are the colorful and clean kind that nutritionists recommend over and over for their litany of benefits—not just their natural iron count.
Oh, and if you're vegetarian or vegan, don't fret. Even though some of the best food sources of iron come from animals (eggs, fish, lean meat, and the like), there are plenty of plant-based options as well. Ready to start a running shopping list?