To boost your iron intake each day:
1. Eat Vitamin C-Rich Foods With Iron-Rich Veggies
Vitamin C helps speed the absorption of iron traveling from your digestive system into your bloodstream up to 5 times faster for a major energy boost. Great pairs of vitamin C and iron-containing food include:
- Red bell peppers with spinach
- Tomatoes with broccoli
- Citrus fruits with edamame
2. Cook Your Pasta Sauce in an Iron Skillet
Acidic foods with high moisture content, such as tomato sauce, will absorb the most iron from these cooking pans. In one study, the iron content in spaghetti sauce tripled after it had been simmered in a cast iron pot. Sauté vegetables and other foods this way as often as you can to rev up iron intake.
3. Choose Clams When You Can
Clams provide tons of iron and are also a top source of potassium and vitamin B12. Eat clams once a week as an alternative to another protein. Choose fresh or canned since they both contain the same amount of iron. A 3-ounce serving size (about 10 small clams) provides up to 24mg of iron and contains only 126 calories.
4. Limit Coffee and Tea 3 Hours Prior to an Iron-Rich Meal
The tannins found in tea and coffee interfere with iron absorption, so try to avoid drinking these beverages for a few hours before a meal that's high in iron, especially when you're trying to build up your body's stores.