Non-heme Iron


IRON is an essential nutrient needed by your body to function. ⁣There are two types of iron : Heme iron - comes from non-human animal flesh⁣ &and non-heme iron - comes from plant foods⁣.

Heme iron is easily absorbed by the human body. Non-heme iron isn't as bio-available as heme, however non-heme iron is still an excellent source of iron, so don't get discouraged or let people tell you that you need to eat animals to get iron, cuz ya don't! ⁣

It's important to eat iron rich sources of food, however as equally important are the foods eaten with them, these will play a roll in how well iron gets absorbed. ⁣

Plant foods that contain iron:⁣

Dark leafy greens⁣

Black strap molasses⁣

Beans, lentils, soybeans⁣

Whole grains, oats, fortified cereals ⁣

Dried fruit⁣

Dark chocolate⁣

Fortified cereals⁣

Nuts/seeds⁣

Foods that can INCREASE absorption of non-heme iron ⁣

  • Vitamin C - Citrus, bell peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts are some great sources.⁣

  • Vitamin A - Sweet potatoes, carrots, kale are some great sources.⁣


Foods that may DEREASE absorption of non-heme iron ⁣

  • Calcium - dairy, calcium supplements, high calcium fortified foods.⁣

  • Phytates - grains, soy, nuts and legumes *eating vitamin C with phytate containing foods will counteract this problem.⁣

  • ⁣Polyphenols - coffee & tea⁣

Tips to INCREASE iron absorption:⁣

  • Always squeeze lemon/lime into your salads⁣

  • Soak and or sprout grains & legumes to remove some of the anti-nutrients like phytates⁣

  • Consume foods high in vitamin C with grains, nuts, legumes⁣

  • Avoid drinking coffee and tea with iron rich meals⁣

  • Consume veggies/fruits rich in vitamin A with non-heme iron sources of food⁣

  • If you menstruate, eat iron rich sources of food before/during menstruation⁣

  • Don't take calcium and iron supplements together⁣


Sources:

https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/98/1/65/4578342

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9482776/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9482776/

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