Vitamin C and Iron Absorption

Iron is an essential mineral for the human body and one of the most important roles of iron is to make red blood cells which transport oxygen around the body.

There are two difference types or iron; heme and non-heme.

Heme iron comes from animal based foods and non-heme iron comes primarily from plant based foods. Whilst they are both types of iron, our bodies absorb them differently .

Approximately 15-35% of heme iron is absorbed whilst only up to 20% of non-heme iron is absorbed.

The good news is that the levels of absorption of non-heme iron can be influenced by other food sources; such as vitamin C.

Consuming vitamin C with any non-heme iron can nearly double the amount you absorb!

So, if you are consuming plant based foods rich in iron, such as; spinach, kale, lentils, nuts, etc. make sure you add some food items that contain high levels of vitamin C, such as; broccoli, berries, fruits, tomatoes, bell peppers and leafy greens, and you can be sure that your body will be absorbing much more of that iron.

Interesting stuff if you ask me 🙂



  1. Hippie Lady says:

    Great post. I eat a lot of spinach and this is good to know! ✌🏼️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Me too – I found it so interesting when I read it in my coursework recently that I decided it was a worthy blog post 🙂 x

      Liked by 1 person

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