This is the secret weapon that will make you absorb more iron even if you don't eat meat

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Carlos Laforet Coll
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If you don't eat meat you may develop iron deficiency, however there is an effective solution to counteract this form of anemia.

Il iron it is an essential mineral for our body, however most of us do not get enough of it and, consequently, the iron deficiency it is one of the most widespread deficiencies in the world. While some of our iron needs are met endogenously (our body reuses the iron recovered from the destruction of aged red blood cells), we all have a daily requirement for iron from exogenous sources, i.e. from food. (Also Read: If You Have These Symptoms You May Have Severe Iron Deficiency)

Since many do not get the recommended daily iron amounts from their diet, there is another solution that can come to our rescue: Vitamin C. Let's find out why.

What is iron used for and why it is extremely common to have a deficiency

Iron is an indispensable mineral in many physiological processes, including cellular respiration, collagen synthesis and nucleic acid metabolism. According to the Higher Institute of Health, the human body needs approx 10-12 milligrams (mg) of iron per day. However, as we have mentioned, iron is notoriously difficult to absorb and during the day we also tend to lose some quantities, for example due to urine, sweat or menstruation.

There are two types of dietary iron: emic iron, which comes from animal food sources such as meat or fish, e non-emic iron, which comes mainly from plants. Nonemic iron is not easily absorbed by our body, so people who do not eat meat may be more likely to develop a deficiency. So let's see how vitamin C can help us eliminate this lack of iron.

How Vitamin C improves the absorption of iron

Generally, the absorption of heme iron in the intestine occurs without problems, while the non-heme iron is strongly influenced by the other nutrients present in the last meal.

However, as a study published in the Proceedings of the Nutrition Society shows, vitamin C improves bioavailability of non-emetic iron and also optimizes the absorption of iron from the transferrin (the protein that carries iron through the blood), ensuring that iron is not only absorbed properly, but also efficiently distributed throughout the body. So, if you have an iron deficiency, try to get enough vitamin C, which can help increase iron levels but also improve levels of vitamin C itself (which provides a range of health benefits for the skin, system immune system and much more).

To increase your vitamin C intake, consider adding more foods rich in this vitamin to your diet or taking a high-quality vitamin C supplement.

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Fonte: Proceedings of the Nutrition Society

On iron, you may also be interested in:

  • Anemia: New and unexpected side effect of iron deficiency discovered on your heart
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  • Foods rich in iron: the list (assimilable and not)
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