You Can Boost Your Iron Level

Being deferred for low iron does not mean you are anemic or that you cannot donate in the future.  It just means you might need to be more aware of what you’re eating and prepare a bit more for your donations.

Iron levels can fluctuate and you can keep yours higher by eating iron rich foods.  You can help your body absorb iron by consuming your iron-rich foods with a source of vitamin C (orange juice, citrus fruits, tomatoes, cantaloupe, strawberries, etc.).  Another way to enhance your iron absorption is avoid eating dairy 2 hours before and after you consume iron.  While dairy inhibits iron absorption it is a great source of calcium and there are lots of dairy free calcium rich foods (many greens, soy milks, tofu and juices are full of calcium).

Caffeine also inhibits iron absorption.  It’s best to avoid coffee, tea and colas when trying to boost your iron levels.

Iron is an essential mineral in your body; it’s important for increasing hemoglobin levels, helping cells work properly and carrying oxygen throughout your body.  The amount of iron you need varies dependent on age and gender.

 

IRON RICH FOODS

Excellent – 3.4+ mg/serving
Meats: Fruits & Vegetables: Breads & Cereals: Other:
Beef
Organ meats
Liver
Clams
Oysters
Soybeans
Tofu
Apricots
Prune juice
Cream of Wheat
Malt-O-Meal
Buc Wheat
Total
Product 19
Raisin Bran
Bran Flakes
Nuts
Very Good – 1.6-3.3 mg/serving
Meats:  Fruits & Vegetables:
Turkey
Chicken
Pork
Tuna
Shrimp
Spinach
Beans
Lemons
Limes
Orange juice
Raisins
Tomato juice
Watermelon
Good – 0.5-1.5 mg/serving
 Meats: Fruits & Vegetables: Breads & Cereals: Other:
Cod
Salmon
Sole
Egg
Egg substitutes
Artichokes
Alfalfa sprouts
Bean sprouts
Broccoli
Cauliflower
Corn
Peas
Baked potatoes
Dried apricots
Dates
Figs
Prunes
Oatmeal
Wheat germ
Whole grain breads
Enriched pasta
Peanut butter
Blackstrap molasses
Brewer’s yeast
Chocolate