What to Eat to Boost Your Iron Levels

iron-rich foods

Iron is a vital element for human life. So there are many reasons you may want to give your iron levels a boost. You may be a vegetarian monitoring your daily intake or an athlete trying to increase red blood cell production. If you have iron deficiency anaemia , knowing how to boost your iron levels is a must. 

This article takes a deeper look at what to eat (and not to eat) to increase your iron levels and combat this global health problem and common medical condition. So, if you’ve been diagnosed with anaemia or your GP has determined that the iron levels in your blood count are too low, this article is for you.

In this post:

  • Food to eat—natural sources of iron
  • Food to avoid—that interfere with iron absorption
  • Vitamin C-to help iron absorption
  • Iron supplements & OTC medicine toolkit
  • Iron Dos & Dont’s
  • Main takeaways
  • References

Foods to eat—natural sources of iron

One of the best way to make sure you get enough iron is to eat iron-rich foods, including:

Foods to avoid—that may interfere with iron absorption

If you have anemia, especially iron-deficiency anemia, you may want to avoid or cut back on foods that interfere with iron absorption or eat them at a different time of day than when you take your iron supplements or iron-rich meals. Remember not to skip meals.

Vitamin C—to help with iron absorption

Pairing iron-rich foods with vitamin C-rich foods can enhance iron absorption. Try adding these fruits and veggies to your diet:

Water—to help with iron absorption

Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Many people don’t realize it, but drinking plenty of fluids (but remember to avoid excessive coffee, tea or alcohol) helps the body absorb iron and it’s great for your overall health.

Iron Supplements

Most people with iron deficiency anaemia are asked to take iron supplements for 6 months to help ensure they boost their iron levels. Many of these are available over-the-counter, but you should consult with your healthcare provider before taking them. And be sure to adhere to the correct dosage.

Iron deficiency OTC medicine tool kit
For most iron deficiency anaemia sufferers, we recommend having the following medicines on hand. Talk with your GP or pharmacist to make sure you take the correct dosage.
Ferrograd 325mg - 30 Tablets

Ferrograd 325mg – 30 Tablets

Ferrograd tablets contains the active ingredient ferrous sulfate which is used to prevent and treat iron deficiency anaemia. After one week of taking ferrous sulfate most people will start to feel better, however, it may take up to four weeks for it to work to its full potential. Those who are pregnant, have heavy periods, eat unbalanced diets, or have intestinal issues like Crohn’s disease or coeliac disease are more likely to suffer from iron deficiency anaemia.

Ferrous Sulfate 200mg - 60 Tablets

Ferrous Sulfate 200mg – 60 Tablets

Ferrous Sulfate 200mg tablets are a supplement used to treat or prevent iron deficiency anaemia.

Galfer Ferrous Fumarate 305mg - 100 Capsules

Galfer Ferrous Fumarate 305mg – 100 Capsules

Galfer 305mg capsules may be used to treat and prevent iron deficiency anaemia. 

Dextro Energy Tablets Orange - 47g

Dextro Energy Tablets Orange – 47g

Dextro Energy Tablets are an easy and convenient way to give yourself a boost when you need it. These individually wrapped tablets are great for those with an active lifestyle.

Dextro Energy Tablets Blackcurrant - 47g

Dextro Energy Tablets Blackcurrant – 47g

Dextro Energy Tablets are an easy and convenient way to give yourself a boost when you need it. These individually wrapped tablets are great for those with an active lifestyle.

Iron Dos & Don’ts

Consume iron-rich foods such as lean meats and dark leafy vegetablesDon’t consume calcium-rich food during meals such as dairy products
Combine iron-rich foods and supplements with vitamin C like citrus fruits, strawberries, and bell peppersDon’t overdo eating high-fiber foods. Reduce their intake and consume them a few hours after consuming iron-rich foods or supplements.
Consume fortified foods such as enriched cereals, breads or pastasDon’t drink too much tea, coffee, or alcohol (opt for herbal teas that contain less tannins)
Consider supplements (follow dosage instructions carefully)Don’t skip meals
Drink plenty of waterDon’t take supplements or alter your diet drastically without speaking to a medical provider first

Main takeaways

  • Eat iron-rich food such as lean meats, seafood, fortified cereals and dark leafy greens.
  • Pair iron-rich food with Vitamin C and drink plenty of water to enhance iron absorption
  • Avoid food and beverages that can hinder iron absorptions such as dairy, fiber, coffee, tea and alcohol.
  • Take iron supplements under the advise and supervision of your health care provider


Piskin, E. et al. (2022). Iron Absorption: Factors, Limitations, and Improvement Methods

Lönnerdal, B. (2010). Calcium and iron absorption–mechanisms and public health relevance

Hooda, J. et al. (2014). Heme, an Essential Nutrient from Dietary Proteins, Critically Impacts Diverse Physiological and Pathological Processes


PillSorted is a full service pharmacy that delivers trusted pharmacy products, over-the counter medications, and the prescriptions your doctor recommends for your iron deficiency treatment, directly to your door. Your PillSorted pharmacist is happy to answer your questions about iron deficiency and treatments at 033 4050380 or help@pillsorted.com.

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