Most people associate iron intake with eating red meat, but did you know there are plenty of other available food sources, including white meats, seeds, eggs and green vegetables? Iron is a very important mineral for health, it enhances general wellbeing by transporting oxygen in the blood, can help us to feel more energetic, less fatigued, plus it’s vital for the proper functioning of the immune system to help us fight infections.
There are two types of iron: heme iron, found in most animal sources and non-heme iron, from plant sources of food. Heme iron is generally easier to absorb than non-heme iron, however combining certain foods can improve the absorption of non-heme iron.
To improve the absorption of non- heme iron, include a source of vitamin C or heme iron. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, helping to prevent cell damage and it plays a major role in strengthening our immune system. Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin and should be consumed daily for good health.
It’s estimated that approximately 1/3 of the world’s population is iron deficient and that up to 5 % of the Australian population has iron deficiency anaemia. *
Foods high in Iron include:
Foods high in Vitamin C include:
Capsicums (bell peppers) – Broccoli – Cabbage – Kiwi Fruits – Kale – Tomatoes – Berries – Citrus Fruits – Guava – Lychees – Sweet Potato – Snow Peas – Papaya (paw paw).
To find out what foods high in iron and vitamin C are currently in season, check out the Seasonal Food Wheel (designed for SE QLD residents) on the Resources page.
For more information about iron, requirements and sources for your diet, please comment or contact us.
Big cheers to your good health!
* Better Health Channel in conjunction with Deakin Uni Australia – national iron deficiency statistics