Dr. Hilary’s Lifestyle Changes To Support Healthy Iron Levels
- Focus on iron-rich foods, including meat, fish, dark leafy greens, brown rice, beans, nuts and seeds and iron-fortified grains.
- Avoid consuming foods that block iron absorption within two hours of an iron supplement or eating iron-rich foods1. These include black tea, coffee, cocoa, and calcium-rich foods such as dairy, almonds, and broccoli.
- Increase foods that boost iron absorption1, including foods high in vitamin C and beta carotene. These vitamins are found in yellow, orange and red fruits and vegetables, such as grapefruit, oranges, bell peppers, beets, carrots, squash, and tomatoes.
- Talk to your doctor if you are taking acid blocking medications (proton pump inhibitors, antacids), as they impair iron absorption.
- Heal the gut lining to improve absorption of iron in the small intestine.
- Blood work should be done in each trimester, as well as six to eight weeks postpartum to test your ferritin level. Aim for an optimal ferritin level of 70-100 ug/L.