One of the primary ways to prevent iron deficiency anemia is to eat a healthy diet that is rich in iron and contains the right combination of foods to help your body absorb iron.
Iron from meat sources provides the best and most absorbable form of iron to meet your body's needs. However, you can help your body absorb more iron from plant sources by consuming foods with Vitamin C, such as oranges or other citrus fruits.1,2
You can also avoid foods like coffee that inhibit your body's ability to absorb iron.3
1 Dietary supplement fact sheet: iron. National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements Web site. http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/iron.asp. Updated August 24, 2007. Accessed April 20, 2008.
2 Cook JD, Reddy MB. Effect of ascorbic acid intake on nonheme-iron absorption from a complete diet. Am J Clin Nutr. 2001;73(1):93-98.
3 Morck TA, Lynch SR, Cook JD. Inhibition of food iron absorption by coffee. Am J Clin Nutr. 1983;37(3):416-420.