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Based on scientific research, vitamin C appears to improve oral absorption of iron. Concurrent vitamin C may aid in the absorption of iron dietary supplements.
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Vitamin C from foods can enhance your nonheme iron (found in plant food sources) absorption by eating a food that’s high in vitamin C along with iron-rich foods. Vitamin C and the acids in your stomach change the configuration of nonheme iron, which improves its absorption.
As little as 25 milligrams of vitamin C -- the amount in about one-quarter cup of orange juice -- can double the amount of nonheme iron you absorb from your meal and 50 milligrams of vitamin C can increase the amount absorbed about six fold.
Keep this in mind when you make your next peanut butter-on-whole-wheat sandwich and have an orange for dessert.
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