- Iron is very soluble in the stomach thanks to it’s acidic environment, but in the small intestine the free iron ions look for a partner. Organic acids such as the fructose found in honey, Vitamin C, and amino acids derived from proteins form chelates to help with absorption.
- To naturally address an iron deficiency you need to get the most from an iron supplement as well as from your diet. Try taking iron between meals or before breakfast with a Vitamin C source such as tomatoes, or citrus fruits.
- Add foods rich in bio-available iron. Chicken are great sources, as are dark, leafy greens such as spinach and collard greens. Red beets, beet juice, wheat grass juice, raisins, and prunes, are high in iron, and may be useful in alleviating anemia.
- Avoiding tannic acids, fiber, and the phosphates found in egg yolks, milk, and cheese for a few hours before and after taking an iron supplement can make a difference in how well the supplement is absorbed.
- Coffee, black tea, and non-decaffeinated green tea are high in tannic acids and can reduce iron absorption by 50%.
- Other minerals compete with iron for absorption sites. A high intake of calcium, magnesium, and copper can interfere with your body benefiting from an iron supplement. It is best to take these at a different time.