To improve the absorption of iron in the intestine, strategies such as eating citrus fruits such as orange, pineapple and acerola should be used, along with foods rich in iron and avoiding frequent use of antacid medications, such as Omeprazole and Pepsamar.
The absorption of iron is easier when it is in the “heme” form, which is present in animal foods such as meat, liver and egg yolk. Some foods of plant origin, such as tofu, kale and beans, also contain iron, but it is of the non-heme iron type, which the intestine absorbs in smaller quantities.
Tricks to increase iron absorption
Some tips to increase iron absorption in the intestine are:
- Eat fruits rich in vitamin C, such as orange, kiwi and acerola, along with foods rich in iron;
- Avoid drinking milk and dairy products together with main meals, as calcium decreases iron absorption;
- Avoid drinking coffee and teas with foods rich in iron, as they contain substances called polyphenols that reduce iron absorption;
- Avoid the constant use of heartburn medications, as iron is better absorbed with stomach acid;
- Eat foods rich in fructooligosaccharides, such as soy, artichoke, asparagus, escarole, garlic and bananas.
Pregnant women and people with anemia naturally absorb more iron, because iron deficiency causes the intestine to absorb greater amounts of this mineral. Citrus fruits increase iron absorption air products and coffee decrease iron absorption
The main foods rich in iron are:
Animal origin: red meat, poultry, fish, heart, liver, shrimp and crab.
Vegetable origin: tofu, chestnuts, flaxseed, sesame, cabbage, coriander, prune, beans, peas, lentils, brown rice, whole wheat and tomato sauce.
To fight anemia, it is important that all meals have foods rich in iron, so that the intestine increases the absorption of this mineral and the body is able to overcome anemia and replenish its stocks.