Iron deficiency is very common in the UK , especially amongst youngsters; over 10% of teenagers have low levels of iron. Quick growth, a fast lifestyle as well as poor dietary choices, can cause iron deficiency or anaemia. Teenage girls in particular need to pay specific attention to iron as their iron stores are depleted every month due to menstruation .
Iron is found in red meat. There are many non-meat sources as well, like fortified breakfast cereals, bread, dried fruit and green leafy vegetables. The absorption of iron is not as easy from non-meat sources. Yet it is possible to enhance iron absorption by combining non-meat sources with foods loaded with Vitamin C (found in blackcurrants, citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables). Tannin, found in tea, lowers the absorption of iron. Hence, it’s better to have orange juice at breakfast rather than a cup of tea.