Iron is a mineral that is important for growth and giving you lots of energy. It is important for carrying hormones and making red blood cells, which carry oxygen around the body. A lack of iron can lead to an iron deficiency known as anaemia.

The average woman requires 18 milligrams of iron per day, while men require 8 milligrams.

Tannins are some of the compounds that reduce iron absorption by binding to minerals such as iron and inhibiting them. Tannins are naturally occurring substances that can be found in tea, coffee and wine.

A study found that iron absorption obtained from porridge was reduced by 37% when compared with water used as a control beverage. The study also shows that a 1-h time interval between tea consumption and a meal has a substantial impact in counteracting this inhibitory effect (Ahmad Fuzi et al.,2017).

Phytic acid blocks the absorption of certain minerals into the body, such as iron, magnesium and zinc. Phytates interfere with iron absorption by 80%. They are found in many plant-based foods such as seeds, nuts, grains and beans.

We can reduce the risk of this happening through several processes: soaking, sprouting, and fermenting.

The absorption of iron is also increased when vitamin C is consumed during the same meal because the vitamin C convers it to a more bioavailable chemical form.

Try adding a lemon or lime to your salad dressing or add bell peppers, Brussel sprouts and other leafy green vegetables to your meals.