Tips for self-management

  • People prone to iron deficiency should aim to increase their intake of dietary iron to reduce the risk of recurrence

  • There are two types of iron found in foods: haem iron and non-haem iron.

  • Haem iron is absorbed five times more easily than non-haem iron. Haem iron can be obtained from meat, fish and poultry

  • Non-haem sources of iron include leafy green vegetables, iron fortified foods (e.g. cereals), dried fruit, beans, lentils, eggs, nuts and wholemeal breads.

  • In many cases, cooking vegetables can increase the absorption of non-haem iron. For example, the body absorbs around 6% of the iron from raw broccoli, but this increases to 30% for cooked broccoli.

  • Combining haem iron with sources of non-haem iron can help to increase iron absorption from the non-haem sources.

  • Vitamin C can enhance the absorption of iron when consumed at the same time. Good sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, kiwifruit, tomatoes, capsicums, strawberries, broccoli, cabbage and spinach.

  • People with medically diagnosed iron deficiency anaemia should avoid drinking teas or coffee with meals as this reduces iron absorption.

Reference: 1.Zhang E, Tattersall SJN. Iron deficiency anaemia in adults: An update. Medicine Today 2019; 20: 27–34. 2. Saunders AV, Craig WJ, Baines SK, Posen JS. Iron and vegetarian diets. Med J Aust 2013; 19; (4 Suppl): S11–16.

Tips for self-management

  • People prone to iron deficiency should aim to increase their intake of dietary iron to reduce the risk of recurrence

  • There are two types of iron found in foods: haem iron and non-haem iron.

  • Haem iron is absorbed five times more easily than non-haem
    iron. Haem iron can be obtained from meat, fish and poultry

  • Non-haem sources of iron include leafy green vegetables, iron fortified foods (e.g. cereals), dried fruit, beans, lentils, eggs, nuts and wholemeal breads.

  • In many cases, cooking vegetables can increase the absorption of non-haem iron. For example, the body absorbs around 6% of the iron from raw broccoli, but this increases to 30% for cooked broccoli.

  • Combining haem iron with sources of non-haem iron can help to increase iron absorption from the non-haem sources.

  • Vitamin C can enhance the absorption of iron when consumed at the same time. Good sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, kiwifruit, tomatoes, capsicums, strawberries, broccoli, cabbage and spinach.

  • People with medically diagnosed iron deficiency anaemia should avoid drinking teas or coffee with meals as this reduces iron absorption.

Reference: 1.Zhang E, Tattersall SJN. Iron deficiency anaemia in adults: An update. Medicine Today 2019; 20: 27–34. 2. Saunders AV, Craig WJ, Baines SK, Posen JS. Iron and vegetarian diets. Med J Aust 2013; 19; (4 Suppl): S11–16.
ALWAYS READ THE LABEL. FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS FOR USE. IF SYMPTOMS PERSIST, TALK TO YOUR HEALTH PROFESSIONAL.
IF YOU THINK YOU MAY BE IRON DEFICIENT, IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU SPEAK TO YOUR DOCTOR.
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