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Make Like Popeye and Eat Spinach (and Other Plant Sources of Iron)

You can get iron from both meats and plant sources, but they’re different kinds of iron. The iron from meat is called heme iron, but it’s the iron from plants, called nonheme iron, that women who want to be pregnant need most. In the Harvard Nurses’ Health Study, women who got most of their iron from nonmeat sources bettered their chances of getting pregnant. The women who got most of their iron from meat did not improve their fertility, and possibly even increased their chances of developing infertility. So be sure to include good plant sources of iron in your diet, such as spinach, red beans, and grain products (preferably whole grain, like brown rice or enriched cereals and breads). To help your body better absorb iron from the plant sources, have a vitamin C-rich food at the same meal.