iron foods haem non-haem
2 min read
When we’re relying on non-haem (plant-based) food sources to meet our iron needs, it’s helpful to eat vitamin C containing foods with the iron rich foods as this increases absorption...

Some examples of vitamin C rich foods are orange, lemon, pineapple, strawberries, blueberries, tomatoes, and capsicum.


How to maximise how much iron your body absorbs

While vitamin C helps the body absorb iron, there are some nutrients and foods that block the absorption of iron if they’re eaten at the same time. These iron blockers are:


  • Tannins - found in black tea and coffee
  • Calcium - found in dairy and calcium fortified non-dairy alternatives
  • Phytates and fibre - found in whole grains especially bran, some seeds, legumes and nuts


This means that if you’re being particularly conscious of your iron intake, then spacing these foods and drinks to 20 to 30 minutes either side of your iron containing food is a good idea. For most people following a plant-based diet, this won’t be necessary.


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