Iron is known as an essential mineral to the body function properly. Therefore, it is very important for you to consume enough iron level daily. However, there is a key point you should know that the body’s iron consumption depends on how well iron amount is absorbed into the body. In this article, we will discuss the topic “How to take iron supplements for best absorption”.
The Importance of Iron Supplements
Once iron is absorbed by the body, the mineral is used in building hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells which helps to maintain the transportation of oxygen through the body. Iron is also a part of myoglobin that helps our muscle cells in storing oxygen. This oxygen is often used as we use muscles.
What Are The Symptoms Of Iron Deficiency?
Before discussing ways on how to take iron supplements for best absorption, the symptoms of irons deficiency should be also aware. Iron deficiency is a huge health problem worldwide. Iron deficiency can result in the lack of ability to do something. Your hair may start falling out more than usual. Also, your thyroid started slowing down due to the lack of iron. According to the Mayo Clinic, below are multiple symptoms of iron deficiency:
- Pale skin
- Brittle nails
- A headache
- Chest pain
- Fast heartbeat
- Extreme fatigue
- Poor appetite
- Shortness of breath
- Frequent infections
- Cold hands and feet
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
How To Take Iron Supplements For Best Absorption From Iron Foods?
Although not all iron rich foods are absorbed equally, there are some iron-rich foods which can increase the ability to absorb iron levels in the body. Below is the list of iron foods you should know.
Vitamin C Rich Foods
Vitamin C has been proved to increase iron absorption. It contains non-heme iron and then stores it in a form which is more easily consumed by your body. Foods rich in vitamin C can include melons, dark green vegetable, citrus fruits, bell peppers, or strawberries.
In a recent study, taking a glass of orange juice (equivalent to 100 mg of vitamin C) a day can increase iron absorption in the body by 67% (13). Therefore, enjoying citrus juice after eating rich-iron foods can enhance your body’s absorption. You can also combine vitamin C-containing vegetables daily.
Meat, Fish, and Poultry
These food sources not only provide us with well-absorbed heme iron but also enhance the absorption of the non-heme form. According to many studies, adding beef, chicken or fish in your daily meals can increase non-heme iron absorption level about 2-3 times. Another study also showed that adding 75 grams of meat can increase non-heme iron absorption by about 12.5 times.
Vitamin A Rich Foods
Vitamin A plays a key part in maintaining bone growth, healthy vision, and your immune system. Good food sources of vitamin A level include kale, squash, carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, peaches, oranges, red peppers, cantaloupe, and apricots. According to a study of 100 participants given vitamin A rich foods, they got improvements in daily iron absorption.
Beta-Carotene Rich Foods
Beta-carotene is known as the red-orange pigment in plants and fruits. The mineral can be transformed into vitamin A in the body. Carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, red peppers, or peaches is the huge source of Beta-Carotene. In a study, Beta-Carotene supplements can increase iron absorption.
How To Take Iron Supplements For Best Absorption From Life Style?
All we know that the iron absorption from iron supplements or iron-rich foods such as lentils, liver, red meat, beans, egg yolks, and spinach can be greatly increased. It is necessary, however, to know that there are also various factors (including some foods) which can greatly affect the ability to intake iron in your body. The following ways will help you absorb enough iron.
A well -balanced diet can increase iron absorption. There are many studies showing that foliate, vitamin A, C, or riboflavin can increase the iron absorption in the body. Therefore, you should drink a glass of orange juice after taking iron supplements because vitamin C in the fruit can increase iron absorption. If you do not like orange juice, you can try another vitamin C rich fruits such as apple, pomelo, mango or pineapple for the same effect.
It is important to be aware that you never use some drugs which can inhibit the absorption of iron in the body. These drugs include Zinc, Trientine, Tetracyclines, and Magnesium salts (oral).
Never drink tea, café, fizzy drinks or win after taking iron supplements one hour. Why? Because many nutritionists said that the tannin and phosphate in these drinks will bind iron, which makes it become hard to absorb.
Avoid drinking milk after one hour of taking rich-foods or iron supplements. According to doctors, a milk glass (about 165mg Calcium) can slow and reduce iron absorption in the body (more than half). High calcium foods such as dairy foods or supplements also have the same effect.
Avoid consuming raw cereal after one hour of eating iron-rich foods or taking iron supplements because Phytates in the food can reduce iron absorption.
Note: Too Much Iron Can Affect Your Body. According to researchers, too much iron is not only bad for you but also deadly. Children’s taking too much iron supplements is one of the common causes of death. Men and postmenopausal women can also have health problems caused by having too much iron levels such as upset stomach, constipation, dark stools, cirrhosis, heart attack, diabetes mellitus, or even cancer.
In conclusion, iron is an important mineral which is necessary for your body. In this article, some ways on how to take iron supplements for best absorption not only provide you the importance of iron but also help you increase your iron level in the body. By carefully choosing the iron-rich foods which can enhance or inhibit iron absorption, you can increase iron level you need daily.