You can reduce your risk of iron deficiency
anemia by choosing iron-rich foods.
Choose iron-rich foods
Foods rich in iron include:
•Dark green leafy vegetables, such as spinach
•Dried fruit, such as raisins and apricots
•Iron-fortified cereals, breads and pastas
Your body absorbs more iron from meat than it
does from other sources. If you choose to not eat meat, you may
need to increase your intake of iron-rich, plant-based foods to
absorb the same amount of iron as someone who eats meat.
Choose foods containing vitamin C to
enhance iron absorption
You can enhance your body's absorption of iron
by drinking citrus juice or eating other foods rich in vitamin
C at the same time that you eat high-iron foods. Vitamin C in
citrus juices, like orange juice, helps your body to better absorb
Vitamin C is also found in:
Are some foods with iron better than
Food has two types of iron — heme and non-heme
iron. Heme iron is found in meat, fish and poultry. It is the
form of iron that is most readily absorbed by your body. You absorb
up to 30 percent of the heme iron that you consume. Eating meat
generally boosts your iron levels far more than eating non-heme
Non-heme iron is found in plant-based foods such
as fruits, vegetables and nuts. Foods with non-heme iron are still
an important part of a nutritious, well-balanced diet, but the
iron contained in these foods won’t be absorbed as completely.
You absorb between two and 10 percent of the non-heme iron that
When you eat heme iron with foods higher in non-heme
iron, the iron will be more completely absorbed by your body.
Foods high in vitamin C – like tomatoes, citrus fruits and
red, yellow and orange peppers – can also help with the
absorption of non-heme iron.