Ask Leah! The Ingles Dietitian

Sponsored: How to get iron in your diet

Sponsored: How to get iron in your diet

Types of Iron: Heme (found in animal products) and nonheme (found in plant products and enriched grains).  Heme iron is more readily absorbed by your body. 

Sources of heme iron: Best sources of heme iron are red meat, pork, chicken, fish/seafood, poultry and eggs.

Sources of nonheme iron: iron-fortified cereals, tofu, beans, lentils, and dark green leafy vegetables.

How to increase absorption: Since nonheme iron is less easily absorbed, pair those foods with a source of vitamin C to help increase your body’s ability to absorb it. 

For example: 

1. Have berries with your iron-fortified breakfast cereal.                   

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2. Add sliced oranges or citrus fruits to your kale salad.

3. Have 4-6 oz of a 100% fruit juice high in vitamin C     with a meat-free meal.

How much do you need: (19-50 yrs old) Men-8mg/day; Women: 18mg/day (Pregnant women need more iron. Iron needs for women typically decrease after age 50)

Who may be deficient:

• If you are vegan or vegetarian or eat a primarily meat-free diet.

• Individuals who have had surgery or experienced bloodloss from trauma.

• Women who are pregnant or menstruating.

• Individuals with celiac disease or those that have had gastric or bowel surgery.

Signs of deficiency: anemia, weakness, fatigue, pale skin, headaches.


Leah McGrath, RDN, LDN

Ingles Markets Corporate Dietitian



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