Quite often we find individuals who have a slightly low serum iron level and consequently their hemoglobin is also low. We advise patients to begin to take an iron tablet daily and eat plenty of green leafy vegetables like “Popeye”. However, it now turns out that this information is out of date.
Green leafy vegetables such as spinach does not have as much iron as red meat. So yes, eating them is good, but having an hamburger, would be better.
In addition, although as physicians we were always advised to have our patients take their iron tablet daily, new studies have shown that taking it only once every other day actually increases the amount absorbed and causes less stomach upset. This study was published in Blood on Oct. 22, 2015, confirmed this. Plus taking it with vitamin C such as a glass of orange juice and avoiding food works better. Whole grains, calcium and other foods can actually absorb the iron and it might never get absorbed. You also only have to take it once daily in the morning and not several times daily.
However, since it is possible that too much iron can cause other health problems, be sure to have your iron level checked before adding the supplement.