It's straight-forward to obtain enough iron when you eat a rainbow of lightly processed vegetables, fruits and other whole-plant foods each day.
Remember your vitamin C
You need to include foods rich in vitamin C to help your body absorb the iron in your meals. Dried fruits, whole grains, nuts, green leafy vegetables, seeds, beans and pulses are all good sources of iron. Vitamin C is found in colourful fruits and vegetables.
Need some inspiration?
Try the following simple suggestions to help combine iron-rich foods with vitamin C:
- fortified breakfast cereal sprinkled with chopped nuts and fresh blueberries
- lentil and sweet potato soup
- hummus with carrot and celery sticks
- tortilla wraps stuffed with refried beans, red pepper and seseame seeds
- a snack of satsumas eaten with a handful of nuts
- a stir fry of colourful veggies (try yellow pepper, spring greens and broccoli) and cashew nuts sprinkled with sesame seeds
- a rich chickpea and tomato sauce served with brown rice
- wholemeal toast spread with peanut butter and topped with apple slices
- baked potato with beans served with a glass of orange juice.
Caffeine can inhibit the body's absorption of iron so it's best to avoid drinking tea, coffee or cola at meal times. Stick to fruit juice or water instead.