Vitamin C + plant-based iron = 67% more iron absorption!*
Here’s the deal. Our bodies can’t absorb the iron in plant foods (aka non-heme iron) as efficiently as it does the iron in animal foods.
So if you’re joining me in eating more plants, remember to add some vitamin C to each meal! It helps your body absorb more plant-based iron.
How? Vitamin C (aka ascorbic acid) can essentially combine with the iron and store it in a way that is more absorbable for our GI tract.
Eating 100mg of vitamin C in the same meal as iron was shown in one study to increase iron absorption by 67%!
This becomes pretty important when you hear as high as 1.6 billion people have anaemia related to iron deficiency.
So I have some winning combos for you guys!
- Tomatoes + lentils
- Peppers + tofu
- Strawberries + wholegrain cereal
- Oranges + handful of nuts
(vit C source on the left, iron on the right )
Broccoli, red cabbage, sweet potatoes and mangos are also great sources of vitamin C. For plant-based iron, you can go for leafy greens too.
*Depending on the specific meal, full disclosure: studies do vary and one even suggested vit C could 4x the iron absorption of some foods!