If you suffer from low iron levels and would like get more iron into your diet, here’s a simple list you can use.
Remember to include foods containing vitamin C (citrus fruit, kiwi, tomatoes, fresh herbs, dark leafy greens, cauliflower, peppers, …) because it increases the absorption of iron, especially from plant-based sources.
- meats, fish, poultry, seafood, liver
- organic soy
- lentils, beans, peas, chickpeas
- sesame, pumpkin seeds
- dried apricots, figs, prunes, raisins
- cashews and other nuts
- leafy green vegetables
- tomato products
- black molasses, maple syrup
- brewers yeast
- oatmeal, rye
Super simple iron-boosting recipe with two iron-rich foods and vitamin C
350 g chickpeas
juice of half a lemon or lime
1,5 – 2 dl water
1 garlic clove
1 tsp cumin
1 -2 tbs tahini
1 tbs virgin olive oil
salt to taste
1/2 tsp smoked paprika (option)
Blend to a smooth(ish) paste using a stick mixer/blender and enjoy with fresh bread or as a dip for raw vegetables.
Note: If you are really deficient or suffer from certain health conditions (cancers of stomach, colon, esophagus, peptic ulcers, cirrhosis, heavy menstruation), be careful with foods that can affect the absorption of iron: coffee, tea, wine, peppermint & chamomile, chocolate, egg protein, dairy, calcium/zinc/manganese supplements, antacids. It should be OK to eat these one hour before or after iron-rich meals, but check with your doctor.
TIP: If you’re looking for an iron supplement with good absorption, I recommend liquid iron with fruit and herbal extracts because it doesn’t cause contipation like the pills often do. There are a few options out there, for example Floradix by Salus.
Sources & further reading: