Are you getting enough iron?
Balancing the supply and demand for iron in your body is important to maintain good health. Normally your iron levels remain in balance, with iron from your diet replacing any iron you may have lost. The iron in your food is absorbed into the bloodstream in your small intestine.
The supply and demand for iron in your body can become unbalanced for a number of reasons and this can lead to iron deficiency.
Your body can store iron, but it can’t make it. This means you need to get iron from the food you eat. Iron is present in both animal and vegetable sources. Iron from animal products (known as haem iron) is better absorbed by your body than iron from plant foods (known as non-haem iron). Choosing what you eat wisely can help to keep your iron levels up.
Chicken, duck, pork, turkey, eggs, and fish all contain iron; however, red meat and offal (such as liver) are particularly good sources.
Iron is also found in many plant-based foods such as:
- green vegetables, for example spinach, silverbeet and broccoli
- lentils and beans
- nuts and seeds
- grains, for example whole wheat, brown rice and fortified breakfast cereals
- dried fruit