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Iron deficiency anemia occurs when there is not enough iron in the body. A person can use ingredients that are high in iron and vitamin C to make smoothies that can increase the body’s iron absorption.

Red blood cells contain an iron-rich protein called hemoglobin. It helps move oxygen around the body. Low iron levels can cause a condition called anemia, in which a person does not have enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen to tissues in the body.

Iron deficiency anemia usually develops over time when the body’s iron intake is low. Treatment for this condition involves taking iron supplements and increasing the amount of iron a person consumes.

In this article, we will discuss ways a person can increase their iron intake from what they are drinking. We also look at how much iron a person should be consuming per day.

A 2020 article stated that there are two types of dietary iron: heme and non-heme iron.

Nonheme iron comes from plants and foods fortified with iron. Heme iron comes from animal food sources. The body does not absorb non-heme iron as easily as heme iron.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute states that increasing a person’s vitamin C intake can help the body absorb more iron.

A person can make smoothies that are high in vitamin C with the following ingredients:

Citrus fruits

This group of fruits includes oranges and grapefruits and contains large amounts of vitamin C.

Approximately 180 grams (g) of orange segments contain 95.8 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C.

The same amount of grapefruit contains 56.2 mg of this vitamin.

A person can try the following smoothie recipes, all of which use a citrus fruit:


Kiwi is a nutritious fruit that is high in vitamin C. It’s also a good source of vitamin E, fiber, potassium, and folic acid.

Approximately 180 g of kiwi fruit contain 134 mg of vitamin C.

Some smoothie recipes that include kiwi fruit include:


This fruit contains vitamin C, potassium and folic acid.

Approximately 180 grams of raw strawberries contain 88.2 mg of vitamin C.

Examples of smoothie recipes that a person may want to try include:


Guava contains fiber, potassium and vitamin A.

165 g of raw guava contain 377 mg of vitamin C.

Some smoothie recipes that use guava include:

People with iron deficiency anemia should also try to eat more foods rich in iron.

You can make smoothies with the following ingredients:


Spinach and other dark green vegetables like cabbage and broccoli are good sources of non-malicious iron.

About 85 g, or 3 cups of spinach, contains 2 mg of iron.

A person can try the following recipes that contain spinach:


Kale contains approximately 1.59 mg iron per 100 g.

A person can add kale to their smoothies to increase iron intake. You may want to combine your green vegetables with fruits to sweeten the smoothie.

A person can try the following recipes with kale:


Asparagus is a spring vegetable that contains vitamins A and C, as well as fiber.

Approx. 85 g asparagus contain 2 mg iron.

A person can try the following recipes that contain asparagus:


Tofu is a quark that manufacturers make by coagulating soy milk. There are a range of firmnesses, from silky to extra firm.

A person can use tofu in their smoothies to increase the iron content of the drink. Firm tofu appears to have higher amounts of iron. However, some people may prefer using silky tofu for a smoother texture.

Firm tofu contains 1.08 mg iron per 79 g.

Approximately 85 g silken tofu contains 0.95 mg iron.

A person can try the following recipes with silky tofu:


Plums are dried plums. They’re a good source of fiber, potassium, and vitamin K.

Half a cup of plums contains 1.9 mg of iron.

A person can try the following recipes that contain plums:


Mulberries grow on trees. They can be sweet or sour.

About 100 g of mulberries contain 1.85 mg of iron.

Some smoothie recipes that use mulberries include:

Dried apricots

Dried apricots are a source of vitamin A and potassium. A person can mix them easily to add iron to smoothies.

About 40 g or five dried apricots contain 1.08 mg of iron.

A person can try the following recipes with dried apricots:

A person can add fruit and vegetable juices to smoothies or consume them themselves for an additional source of iron and vitamin C.

Examples include:

The following recipes contain fruit juices:

Additional ingredients for smoothies

A person can also add the following to their smoothies to increase iron levels:

According to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), certain foods and drinks can reduce the absorption of iron in the intestines.

The 2020 article states that some compounds found in food can inhibit iron absorption. These include polyphenols, a group of chemicals found in:

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence states that the recommended iron intake for a person with anemia is 100–200 mg per day.

It is important to note that this amount is higher than what a person can find in a typical daily multivitamin or consume through their diet.

A doctor will prescribe medicinal or elemental iron to treat anemia.

However, a person can increase their iron intake through the foods and beverages they consume.

There are different types of anemia, and each requires different treatments. A person should speak to a healthcare professional to get a correct diagnosis and to make sure they are receiving the correct treatment.

Symptoms of anemia can range from mild to severe.

While people with mild anemia may not have symptoms, people with more severe anemia may experience the following symptoms:

If a person experiences symptoms of anemia, they should seek advice from a healthcare professional. Doctors use a blood test to diagnose anemia.

If a person has no symptoms despite having low iron levels, they can see a doctor to find out if their iron deficiency is due to underlying medical conditions.

Anemia can cause symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, dizziness, and headaches.

A person can increase the levels of iron in their blood by drinking smoothies and juices that contain ingredients that are naturally high in iron and vitamin C. Fruits, vegetables, and seeds are good sources of iron.