Attempting to get enough iron in your meat-free diet? Try these clever nutritionist-approved strategies to make sure your body has plenty of the vital mineral!
If you've been considering cutting out or cutting back on red meat, you may be wondering if you'll wind up depriving your body of iron. Sure, plant-based foods also contain this mineral, but it isn't as readily absorbed. Only 2% to 20% of the iron in plants (called non-heme) makes its way from your digestive system to your blood, compared to 15% to 35% of the iron in animal foods (called heme).
But fortunately, there's a simple solution: Just add some vitamin C to your meal. It boosts the amount of non-heme iron your body absorbs by as much as six fold.
Below are six iron-rich plant foods, each paired with a fruit or veggie loaded with vitamin C. But there's no need to stick with these specific pairs—feel free to mix and match. You can create tons of combos with these 12 staples, to help your body get all the iron it needs.