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How can you get more iron from your food?

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Some foods can help your body absorb iron from iron-rich foods; others can hinder it. To absorb the most iron from the foods you eat, avoid drinking coffee or tea or consuming calcium-rich foods or drinks with meals containing iron-rich foods. Calcium itself can interfere. To improve your absorption of iron, eat it along with a good source of vitamin C -- such as orange juice, broccoli, or strawberries -- or eat nonheme iron foods with a food from the meat, fish, and poultry group.

If you have trouble getting enough iron from food sources, you may need an iron supplement. Speak to your health care provider about the proper dosage first and follow his or her instructions carefully. Because very little iron is excreted from the body, iron can accumulate in body tissues and organs when the normal storage sites -- the liver, spleen, and bone marrow -- are full. Although iron toxicity from food sources is rare, deadly overdoses are possible with supplements.

From: Iron-Rich Foods WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: "Iron deficiency anemia."

MedlinePlus: "Iron deficiency anemia."

The University of Chicago Medical Center: "Iron Deficiency Anemia."

National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements: "Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Iron."

University of Colorado, Denver: "Here’s how to increase iron in your diet!"

Womenshealth.gov: "Anemia."

Northwestern University: "Nutrition Fact Sheet: Iron."

Reviewed by Christine Mikstas on November 26, 2018

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: "Iron deficiency anemia."

MedlinePlus: "Iron deficiency anemia."

The University of Chicago Medical Center: "Iron Deficiency Anemia."

National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements: "Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Iron."

University of Colorado, Denver: "Here’s how to increase iron in your diet!"

Womenshealth.gov: "Anemia."

Northwestern University: "Nutrition Fact Sheet: Iron."

Reviewed by Christine Mikstas on November 26, 2018

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