Iron Boosting Tips and Tricks
- Drink tea and coffee between meals, not with meals. The tannin can reduce iron absorption so drink tea between meals. Coffee contains less tannin than tea but still needs to be considered as it has other compounds that reduce iron absorption
- Eat lean red meat 3-4 times a week. Red meat is a great source of easy to absorb iron. Poultry and fish also supply iron although less than red meat
- When shopping, add some of the following to your shopping list as they are good at helping us to absorb iron from the food we eat: vitamin C rich juices e.g. orange, grapefruit, tomato juices, other drinks fortified with vitamin C, tomatoes (fresh, canned as puree or tomato based sauces)
- Vitamin C appears to help us to absorb iron. So, for example, having a glass of orange juice with a meal, or having vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, green peppers or potatoes (all good sources of vitamin C) we might be able to increase the amount of iron our bodies get from our food
- Ensure you keep plenty of green leafy vegetables in your freezer just in case you run out of time to buy fresh or there are none available when you go shopping. Frozen vegetables contain the same amount of iron as fresh
- Buy a range of nuts and seeds to keep in store and add to your favourite dishes when you want to e.g. sprinkle nuts on salads and add seeds to stews
- Buy a good wine bottle stopper to keep your full bottle of wine ‘fresh’ to drink or consider buying smaller individual bottles and share with a partner or friend
- Check the label when you buy your breakfast cereal. Compare brand for brand and variety for variety and choose those higher in iron
- Make sandwiches for lunch or snack times made with granary or wholemeal bread
- When you eat out at the Indian, choose a Balti curry as these are cooked in an iron skillet and so provide a source of iron
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