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Boosting Iron Naturally: Essential Tips for Optimal Health

Updated: Sep 9

Iron plays a crucial role in our overall health and well-being. It is an essential mineral that carries oxygen through our bodies and supports various bodily functions. Iron deficiency can lead to fatigue, weakness, and even more severe health issues. However, the good news is that there are several ways to boost your iron levels and maintain optimal health. In this blog, I will guide you through practical strategies to increase your iron intake naturally.

1. Understand Your Iron Requirements:

Before diving into the different methods of boosting iron, it's crucial to understand your iron requirements. The recommended daily iron intake varies depending on age, gender, and life stage. It is generally higher for women of childbearing age and vegetarians/vegans, as their bodies may require more iron. Consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian to assess your iron needs accurately.

2. Opt for Iron-Rich Foods:

One of the best ways to increase your iron intake naturally is by incorporating iron-rich foods into your diet. These include:

a. Red Meat: Many animal-based sources contain heme iron, which is highly absorbable by the body. Lean cuts of beef, lamb, and bison are excellent options.

b. Poultry and Seafood: Chicken, turkey, fish, and shellfish also provide significant amounts of iron. Including these protein sources in your meals can boost your iron levels.

c. Legumes and Beans: Plant-based sources such as lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans, and black beans are packed with iron. They can be included in soups, stews, salads, and even spreads or dips.

D. Spinach and Leafy Greens: Dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, and Swiss chard are rich in iron, vitamins, and minerals. Adding these to your meals or incorporating them into smoothies can be an excellent way to increase iron consumption.

e. Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds are all rich in iron. They can be enjoyed as snacks or ingredients for homemade energy bars or trail mixes.

Attention: If you are on a weight watch, eat a small amount of nuts since they are high in calories. For example, 1.5 oz of almonds is enough per day, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Click here for more info.

f. Whole Grains: Foods like quinoa, amaranth, and fortified cereals provide iron and other essential nutrients. Incorporating these grains into your diet can be a great way to increase iron intake, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration

3. Enhance Iron Absorption:

While increasing your intake of iron-rich foods is essential, focusing on enhancing iron absorption is also important. Here are a few tips to boost iron absorption:

a. Pair Iron-Rich Foods with Vitamin C: Consuming foods high in vitamin C alongside iron-rich foods can significantly enhance iron absorption. Citrus fruits, strawberries, bell peppers, and broccoli are excellent sources of vitamin C.

b. Avoid Consuming Iron Inhibitors: Some substances can inhibit iron absorption. These include calcium-rich foods, phytates (in whole grains and legumes), and tannins (in tea and coffee). To maximize iron absorption, separate these inhibitors from iron-rich meals or consume them at different times.

c. Cooking Techniques: Certain cooking techniques, such as soaking and fermenting legumes and whole grains, can reduce the presence of phytates, thus increasing iron absorption. Cooking meats at lower temperatures can help preserve heme iron content.

4. Consider Iron Supplements

Iron supplements may be necessary in cases where iron deficiency is severe or not quickly addressed through dietary changes. However, consulting with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian is essential before starting any supplements. They will assess your iron status and recommend the appropriate dosage and form of iron supplement. I struggled with iron deficiency for years until I discovered the Usana Iron supplement. I use it and recommend it to my patients. It works and doesn't cause constipation; my body absorbs it well. Click here to check it out.

5. Be Mindful of Iron Loss:

Besides increasing iron intake, it's crucial to be mindful of factors contributing to iron loss. For instance:

a. Menstruation: Women with heavy menstrual flow are at a higher risk of iron deficiency. Monitoring iron levels closely during menstruation and increasing iron-rich foods during this time may be beneficial.

b. Blood Donation: Regular blood donation can temporarily lower iron levels. If you are a frequent blood donor, it's vital to ensure you are replenishing your iron stores by incorporating iron-rich foods into your diet.

c. Exercise and Physical Activity: Intense or prolonged physical activity can lead to iron loss through sweating. It is essential to maintain an iron-rich diet to compensate for this loss

Boosting your iron levels naturally is crucial for overall health and vitality. By incorporating iron-rich foods into your diet, enhancing iron absorption, and being mindful of iron loss, you can support your body's iron requirements. Remember to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian to assess your specific iron needs and ensure you follow appropriate dietary guidelines. With these strategies, you can optimize your iron intake and maintain optimal health.


1. Study: "Dietary Iron Intake Enhances Iron Absorption in Women with Low Iron Stores" (PubMed ID: 16123483)

2. Review Article: "Dietary factors influencing iron absorption in humans: a review" (PubMed ID: 15588270)

Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. Always consult with a healthcare professional before changing your diet or lifestyle.

Malaika Bagoudou, is a Nutrition Consultant,

Wellness Chef, Author, and Speaker. She received Training from

Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) and Academy of Culinary

Nutrition (ACN). She works with busy women and their families.

She typically targets hormone imbalance-related issues and

takes a holistic approach for optimum health.

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