A quick refresher: Heme and non-heme iron come from different sources. Heme iron comes from animal sources (think meat, fish, and poultry), while non-heme iron comes from both plants and animals. The latter is not absorbed in the body quite as easily as animal-sourced iron.
So if your diet consists of mainly plant-sources, you may have a bit of a harder time absorbing the amount of iron your body needs. However, there’s one essential nutrient that can assist this process: vitamin C.
Vitamin C helps to enhance the bioavailability of non-heme iron. Translation? The presence of vitamin C makes non-heme iron more easily available for the body to absorb and use.*
Additionally, vitamin C optimizes the uptake of iron from transferrin (the protein that transports iron through the blood), ensuring that iron is absorbed not only properly but efficiently distributed in the body as well.* Pretty cool, right?