Everyone needs a good friend. You’ve got Bert as well as Ernie, Goose and Maverick, Bill and Ted and iron as well as vitamin C!
Are you familiar with the song’s lyrics, I get by with a little help from my friends? Vitamin C can be described as the dependable iron-loving friend to help the body to absorb iron to stay healthy.
This is important since iron is a crucial element. It performs a range of crucial roles, including transporting oxygen into your blood, supplying you with energy and increasing your brain’s functioning. If your body isn’t able take in enough iron from the iron-rich foods you consume and drink, adding vitamin C into your diet will aid in the absorption of iron.
Vitamin C can aid in the absorption of iron
A wide variety of foods contain iron present in them. There are two kinds of iron. Heme iron which can be found in animal products like seafood, meat, and even poultry. It is more easy to absorb by your body. Your body will have a difficult taking in non-heme iron the type that is found in plant-based food items.
Some plant foods, like beans or spinach, have non heme iron in them, but there are other properties of the plant that make that iron less available to us, says a registered dietitian .
Vitamin C is a good supplement
Consuming foods that are high in vitamin C at the same meal with iron-rich plant foods boosts the bioavailability of iron. This means you absorb more of it.
The science behind everything is scientific and is difficult to comprehend if you’re not an expert in the field or a medical practitioner. For nutrition it’s sufficient to know that your body can have difficulties absorbing iron in foods that are based on plants -even though iron is essential to overall health.
The answer? If you consume iron-rich food, ensure to combine it with a high-in vitamin C food. Friendship is the best in the end!
Vegetarians as well as vegans can be more at risk of low iron levels
If you don’t eat any foods of animal origin, you may have an especially hard time getting enough iron, Peart warns.
The whole thing is based on the difference between heme and non-heme iron. Heme iron is easier for your body to absorb however, it is found in animal productsand, obviously that if you do not consume animal products, then you don’t have access to the easily absorbable iron, heme.
If you are an entirely vegetarian or vegan diet or don’t eat a lot of meat, you’ll need to rely mostly or exclusively on non-heme iron. It is present in foods such as:
Insufficient iron intake in your diet could result in iron-deficiency anemia which is a blood disorder that could result in lightheadedness, fatigue and other signs
Can vitamin C aid in anemia?
If you’re not getting enough iron, your healthcare provider may recommend dietary changes or an iron supplement. Healthcare professionals have often suggested that you take an iron supplement along together with a glass or two of orange juice since it’s it, high in vitamin C.
Yet, at least one research study has suggested that, for those who suffer from anemia, combining vitamin C and iron might not be as beneficial as initially thought. A study in 2023 controlled study of more than 500 people suffering from anemia caused by iron discovered that taking supplements with iron is just as beneficial as iron supplements containing vitamin C.
If you think you’re not getting enough iron from your diet, for instance when you don’t consume meat and feel very tired, set up a time to talk with your doctor.
Iron supplements can cause digestive upset or constipation, so get guidance from a doctor before you start taking a supplement.
How can you get enough iron?
The majority of people require between 8 and 18 milligrams (mg) of iron a day however Peart says that since a lot of iron consumed isn’t utilized, it’s not all that simple.
Supplements might have 26 mg for the daily amount, or even up to 150 mg, so people might think they need to supplement with, say, 8 mg, but it would not be enough.
In the end, it’s more beneficial to obtain your vitamins and other nutrients from food rather than supplements. If you consume plants that are high in iron, concentrate on combing it with something high in vitamin C which can to aid your body in absorption.
If you’re having spinach salad, for example, try sprinkling some lemon juice, or adding vitamin C-rich strawberries, orange segments or red peppers.