IRON CLAD HABIT - Eat fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C to complement iron rich foods. Vitamin C boosts a bodies' ability to absorb iron. This simple food pairing makes a BIG difference in nutrient absorption.
Vitamin C helps your body absorb the non-heme iron foods you eat, especially when the food containing non-heme iron and the vitamin-C rich food are eaten at the same meal. The type of iron that is found in foods considered vegan or alkalizing is non-heme (Fortified Cereal, Soybeans, Pumpkin and Squash Seeds, White Beans, Blackstrap Mollasses, Lentils, Spinach, Kindney Beans, Chickpeas, Prune Juice, Tomato Puree Lima Beans, Soybeans, Navy Beans, Refried Beans, Tomato Paste.) Non-Heme iron is not easily absorbed by the body.
For example - If you eat cereal that is iron fortified with a cup of coffee, then you may not absorb the iron at all! Caffeine inhibits the absorption of iron, making the non-heme iron even harder to absorb. Do the IRON CLAD switch-a-roo - Have O.J. with your cereal. Also, sipping prune juice can boost vitamin absorption.
How important is iron intake?
Center for Disease Control and Prevention provides a list of heme and non-heme iron sources. To improve absorption, eat these with a vitamin-C rich food.
Dietary Sources of Vitamin C
|Food, Standard Amount||Vitamin C (mg)||Calories|
|Guava, raw, ½ cup||188||56|
|Red bell pepper, raw, ½ cup||142||20|
|Red bell pepper, cooked, ½ cup||116||19|
|Kiwi fruit, 1 medium||70||46|
|Orange, raw, 1 medium||70||62|
|Orange juice, ¾ cup||61 to 93||79 to 84|
|Green bell pepper, raw, ½ cup||60||15|
|Green bell pepper, cooked, ½ cup||51||19|
|Grapefruit juice, ¾ cup||50 to 70||71 to 86|
|Vegetable juice cocktail, ¾ cup||50||34|
|Strawberries, raw, ½ cup||49||27|
|Brussels sprouts, cooked, ½ cup||48||28|
|Cantaloupe, ¼ medium||47||51|
|Papaya, raw, ¼ medium||47||30|
|Kohlrabi, cooked, ½ cup||45||24|
|Broccoli, raw, ½ cup||39||15|
|Edible pod peas, cooked, ½ cup||38||34|
|Broccoli, cooked, ½ cup||37||26|
|Sweet potato, canned, ½ cup||34||116|
|Tomato juice, ¾ cup||33||31|
|Cauliflower, cooked, ½ cup||28||17|
|Pineapple, raw, ½ cup||28||37|
|Kale, cooked, ½ cup||27||18|
|Mango, ½ cup||23||54|
Please, comment your menu if you pair Vitamin C with Iron Foods.