A drink with your breakfast, lunch or dinner can make your meal more enjoyable. But have you considered whether your drink of choice may affect the way your body absorbs the nutrients in your food?
Dietary factors that can increase the uptake of other nutrients are called enhancers, while those that can reduce the uptake of other nutrients are called inhibitors, or anti-nutrients.
One of the most common nutrient deficiencies worldwide is iron, and can result in a condition called iron deficiency anaemia.
So if you’re looking to increase your iron levels, it’s worth thinking not just about what you’re eating — but what you’re drinking too.
A bit about iron
If you’re worried you may be iron deficient, you can get a blood test from your general practitioner.
There are two forms of iron in our diets; haem iron and non-haem iron. Haem is an iron-containing protein that forms part of the haemoglobin, a protein in your red blood cells that transports oxygen around your body.
Haem iron is found in animal sources of food, like meat, and is more easily absorbed into the body.
Non-haem iron is found in plant foods, like grains, beans and nuts, and is less easily absorbed.