How to boost iron and keep your gut healthy

Plant-based iron sources are often gentler and easier on the digestive system. Here’s how natural alternatives can provide relief.

If you’re one of the many people who wants more dietary iron, you know it can be a daunting task to find a supplement that doesn’t disrupt your digestive system.

Staggeringly, up to 60 per cent1 of people who use iron supplements experience side effects such as constipation, nausea and bloating.

But there are gentle solutions at hand – thanks to the goodness of plants.

The curry leaf

Also known as ferroplant, the curry leaf is a powerhouse when it comes to a gut-friendly source of iron.

This iron source has numerous benefits that set it apart, containing valuable compounds such as antioxidants, fibre and phytochemicals. It is also a rich source of various minerals and trace elements, including magnesium, zinc and copper, as well as a non-haem source of iron that is gentle on the stomach.

Unique composition

The curry leaf has a unique composition.

It consists of iron particles enveloped by a protective protein coat known as plant ferritin.

This coating shields the iron particles from absorption-inhibiting substances and oxidation during digestion.

This means that the curry leaf handles the digestive process extremely well, and arrives at the intestines mostly intact.

As a result, it’s super gut-friendly, releasing absorbed iron into the bloodstream gradually.

Gentle on the stomach

Because of this gradual absorption, curry leaves make an excellent, gut-friendly iron source.

Unlike many synthetic iron supplements, curry leaves are a natural, plant-based solution that can help to reduce gastrointestinal side effects.

If you are looking to supercharge your iron intake, consider pairing curry leaf with iron-rich vegetables such as spinach leaves, broccoli, sprouts, beets, collards and asparagus.

Vital All-In-One: Your ultimate nutrient solution

If you think you may want more iron, the first step is to consult your healthcare professional.

Plant-based supplements can support health and wellbeing.

That’s why Vital created a new range of single-dose plant-based supplements.

For a multi nutrient dense all-in-one formula try the hero product from the range, Vital All In One.

Easily absorbed and carefully balanced, this powder blend of 78 essential nutrients is designed to help promote your general wellbeing and support blood health.

Inspired by a global move towards a plant-based diet, the team at Vital is committed to a range of non-synthetic plant-based supplements containing natural forms of nutrients that are more easily recognised by the body.

This article is brought to you by Vital All-In-One. Always read the label and follow the directions for use. Dietary supplements can only be of assistance if dietary intake is inadequate.


1 Bloor, S, Schutte, R, and Hobson, A, 2021, Oral Iron Supplementation—Gastrointestinal Side Effects and the Impact on the Gut Microbiota, Microbiology Research, 12(2):491-502, retrieved September 2023 from