You can get more iron in your body by taking iron supplement pills, or simply eating foods that contain iron.
The dietary sources of iron include:
- Red meat, chicken and fish
- Fortified cereals
- Legumes and nuts
- Leafy green vegetables
Note that taking iron supplement pills can be risky, so it is important to always consult a doctor, first. Too much iron in your blood can lead to iron poisoning!
You can get the most benefit from iron pills if you take them with vitamin C or drink orange juice. Do not take your iron pills with milk, caffeine, foods with high fiber, or antacids.
Here’s how to get more iron from your food …
First of all, to absorb more iron from the food you eat, avoid drinking coffee, tea and any food or beverage with calcium.
Instead, eat iron-rich foods along with something containing vitamin C — such as orange juice, broccoli, or strawberries.
There are two forms of dietary iron: heme and nonheme. Heme iron is derived from hemoglobin. It is found in animal foods that originally contained hemoglobin, such as red meats, fish, and poultry.
Your body absorbs the most iron from heme sources. Nonheme iron is from plant sources.
These are some of the best food sources of heme iron:
Very good sources of heme iron, with 3.5 milligrams or more per serving, include:
- 3 ounces of beef or chicken liver
- 3 ounces of clams, mollusks, or mussels
- 3 ounces of oysters
Good sources of heme iron, with 2.1 milligrams or more per serving, include:
- 3 ounces of cooked beef
- 3 ounces of canned sardines, canned in oil
- 3 ounces of cooked turkey
Sources: Better Health Channel and Healthwise and Kathleen Zelman