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Fact: maximize your iron absorbtion

28/04/2017 10:41
Posted By EP



The Simple Trick To Maximise Your Iron Absorption

Most of us grow up believing that eating spinach is the best way to solve an iron deficiency, but the iron in spinach is not easily absorbed by the body. Why can't the body absorb the iron in spinach easily?

The bioavailability of iron depends on the type of iron. There are two types of iron: heme and non-heme iron. 

Heme iron, a form of iron that comes bound to heme proteins, gets absorbed relatively easily in your digestive tract. Nonheme iron, the type of iron not bound to heme proteins, gets absorbed less easily.The iron in vegetables and grains is non-heme iron. About 60 percent of the iron in meat is also non-heme iron. 

Non-heme iron is plant-based iron, which the body cannot absorb easily. The remaining 40 percent of the iron in meat is known as heme iron, or blood iron. This iron is much more bioavailable, and can be absorbed by the body easily.


How to improve iron absorption


The rate at which non-heme iron is absorbed by the body depends on the presence of certain nutrients, some of which hamper absorption and some of which enhance it.

Vitamin C is a nutrient that enhances iron absorption, since it binds with the iron and prevents it from forming other insoluble and unabsorbable iron compounds. It also helps convert iron into the correct form for absorption.

The best way to maximise your iron absorption is to squeeze lemon juice on your spinach, eat citrus fruits along with your meal or drink a glass of lemonade or sweet lime juice after you're done eating.

You can also take Vitamin C supplements to maximise your iron absorption. If you are on iron supplements, take the pill with a glass of lemonade.


Foods that hamper iron absorption

There are several foods that block the absorption of iron, so try to avoid consuming them around mealtime.

Tea and coffee contain polyphenols and phytates, which decrease non-heme iron absorption by 50-60 percent. To prevent them from interfering with your digestion, research shows that you can safely drink them an hour before your meal, but not an hour after, since your body takes at least that long to absorb the iron. It is recommended that you wait at least two hours before drinking tea or coffee.

Other nutrients like calcium, oxalate, phosphate, copper, magnesium, cadmium, cobalt and manganese also interfere with iron absorption.  





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