How to boost iron absorption

Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency worldwide, in part due to the inherent low bio-availability (amount of absorption) of dietary iron. Iron is vital for oxygen transport among other vital processes so boosting the amount we absorb is always going to beneficial (1).

Vitamin C enhances the absorption of non-heme iron (plant-based sources) and can increase bio-markers of iron status overtime (2). If you consume vitamin C rich foods which total around 90mg per meal (280mg daily) you can increase the amount of iron absorbed by three times (3)!

Great sources of vitamin C include brocolli, red bell peppers and spinach, yes oranges do have some vitamin C but they’re definitely not the best source (4). Don’t worry, check back in soon as we’ll have a top 10 video for vitamin C sources.

Check out our post from Tuesday for our top 6 sources of iron.


1. Aggett PJ. Iron. In: Erdman JW, Macdonald IA, Zeisel SH, eds. Present Knowledge in Nutrition. 10th ed. Washington, DC: Wiley-Blackwell; 2012:506-20.

2. Heffernan, A., Evans, C., Holmes, M. and Moore, J.B., 2017. The Regulation of Dietary Iron Bioavailability by Vitamin C: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 76(OCE4).

3. Cook, J.D. and Monsen, E.R., 1977. Vitamin C, the common cold, and iron absorption. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 30(2), pp.235-241.

4. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/nutrients/report/nutrientsfrm?max=25&offset=0&totCount=0&nutrient1=401&nutrient2=&subset=0&sort=c&measureby=g