Iron is an essential mineral your body needs to function properly.
Thus, it’s vitally important to consume adequate amounts of it in your daily diet.
Interestingly, the foods you eat influence not only how much iron you consume, but also how well it is absorbed into your body.
Once it’s absorbed by your body, it’s used as a building block for hemoglobin, a protein found in red blood cells that helps shuttle oxygen around your body.
Iron is also a component of myoglobin, an oxygen storage protein found in your muscles. This oxygen is used when you use your muscles.
The recommended intake range is 7–18 mg per day for the general population and up to 27 grams for pregnant women
Tips to Get Enough Iron
The tips below can help you maximize your dietary iron intake:
Eat lean red meat: This is the best source of easily absorbed heme iron. Eating it several times per week can help if you are deficient.
Eat chicken and fish: These are also good sources of heme iron. Eat a variety of them.
Consume vitamin C-rich foods: Eat vitamin C-rich foods during meals to increase the absorption of non-heme iron. For example, some lemon juice drizzled over leafy greens will increase the amount you absorb.
Avoid coffee, tea or milk near meals: Avoid these during meals that contain iron-rich foods. Have your coffee or tea between meals instead.
Choose foods rich in non-heme iron: If you don’t eat meat and fish, include plenty of iron-rich plant foods in your diet.
Summary: To maximize your iron intake, try to include meat, fish, poultry, beans and lentils in your diet, as well as vitamin C-rich foods during your meals. Also, spread out your tea, coffee and dairy intakes between meals.
The Bottom Line
Iron is a vital mineral that’s essential for the function of your body. Two types of it are found in food — heme and non-heme.
Meat, fish and poultry contain the heme form, which is easily absorbed by your body.
Non-heme iron is mainly found in plant foods, but this form is harder for your body to absorb. You can improve your body’s absorption by eating foods containing vitamin C, vitamin A, meat, fish and poultry during your meals.
On the other hand, foods containing phytates (cereals and grains), calcium (milk and dairy) and polyphenols (tea and coffee) can hinder iron absorption.
By carefully selecting the foods you eat and knowing how certain foods can enhance or inhibit absorption, you can make sure you’re getting the iron you need."
The above is just a small part of an article on Authority Nutrition Site written by Dr. Verena Tan
you can read it in full here
All the best Jan