The best sources of iron are from meat, poultry and fish – all of which contain heme iron. Heme iron is absorbed better than the type of iron found in plants – non-heme iron. For vegetarians of course, this is a moot point since animal foods aren’t an option. Therefore, you’ll need to be extra aware of your iron intake.
The top vegetarian sources of iron include:
- Fortified cereals (look for 100% DV for iron)
- Instant oatmeal
- Lima, navy, lima, black, pinto
- Black-eyed peas
Be sure to include several of these foods in your diet and consume them with vitamin C to enhance the absorption of non-heme iron. Also, take your calcium supplements and antacids separately since they can inhibit the absorption of non-heme iron. Though the absorption of heme sources of iron are not affected by what is eaten concurrently, the absorption of non-heme sources is affected by what you concurrently.