Iron & Vitamin C: a Powerful Combination

Vitamin C is well-known for its antioxidant and immunity-building properties.  But did you know that it is also vital for helping your body absorb iron from certain sources?

According to the World Health Organization, iron deficiency continues to be the most common health issue worldwide, affecting an estimated 30-40 percent of preschool children and pregnant women in industrialized countries such as the United States. 

Without enough iron, the body can’t make enough red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body and give us energy.

That’s why it’s important to eat iron-rich foods, and to combine plant-based iron sources with vitamin C-rich foods, such as:

Foods that are rich in iron and easily absorbed in the body

  • Beef and Pork
  • Chicken and Turkey
  • Fish and Other Seafood
  • Liver and Organ Meats

Foods that are rich in iron, but need to be eaten with vitamin C for better absorption

  • Beans and Legumes (such as Pinto Beans, Kidney Beans, and Lentils)
  • Grains, Breads, and Cereals
  • Spinach, Kale and Other Leafy Greens
  • Eggs

Fruits and veggies that are high in Vitamin C

  • Citrus Fruits and Juices such as Orange, Grapefruit, Lemon, and Lime
  • Strawberries
  • Mangos
  • Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes
  • Tomatoes and Tomato Juice
  • Bell Peppers
  • Broccoli and Cauliflower
  • Cabbage and Brussels Sprouts

Want to know more about the benefits of Vitamin C + Iron? Check out the following resources: