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© 2019 by No Meat May

An essential mineral which plays a vital role in forming haemoglobin, which transports oxygen around the body, assists in energy-producing chemical reactions and maintaining a healthy immune system.
Low iron levels lead to anaemia.

 

There are two types of iron in food - haem iron is found in animal foods while non-haem iron is found in eggs and plant foods such as legumes, cereal grains, nuts, seeds and dark green leafy vegetables.

 

Non-haem iron isn’t as well absorbed by the body but including foods high in vitamin C at the same meal can improve absorption. Tea and coffee can inhibit the absorption of iron.

Daily
iron
requirements

Women 19-50 years 32mg

Women over 51 years 14mg

Pregnancy 48mg

Breastfeeding 16-18mg

Men 14mg

Tips for meeting your iron needs:

  • Eat legumes, tofu, dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds and wholegrains regularly

  • Include a vitamin C-rich fruit or vegetable at each meal (such as berries, kiwi fruit, citrus fruits, tomatoes, capsicum, spinach and broccoli)

  • Limit your intake of tea and coffee to between meals rather than with meals

Source: Dr Kate Marsh BSc, MNutrDiet, PhD, Grad Cert Diab Edn & Mgt Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian