To get right amount — and kind — of iron:
- Include iron-rich meat at a meal.
- Consume a vitamin C-rich food, such as orange juice, with an iron-rich vegetable, such as spinach.
- Avoid drinking tea, antacids, tofu, soy, or tetracycline when taking iron supplements.
- Switch to another brand or form of iron supplement and take with meals if you develop constipation or diarrhea.
- Get plenty of vitamin B-12 and folic acid. The best food sources of B-12 are beef liver, clams, oysters, tuna, milk, yogurt, eggs and cheese. Whether or not you're pregnant, try to get the recommended amount of 400 micrograms of folic acid in your daily diet. Good food sources include asparagus, black-eyed peas, kidney beans and orange juice.
- If you opt for the non-heme form of iron, go for animal products such as liver, clams, salmon, oysters, and sardines. Good heme sources are: oats, soybeans, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, spinach, eggs, black currants, fish, dried fruits (figs, apricots), nuts, fortified breakfast cereals, chocolates, tofu; almonds, avocados, beets, blackstrap molasses, brewer's yeast, dates, kidney and lima beans, lentils, peaches, pears, rice and wheat bran, and sesame seeds.