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Iron is a must for staying energized, yet 12 percent of women don't get enough. "Iron helps carry oxygen through your body," says American Dietetic Association spokesperson Keri M. Gans, RD. "If you're lacking this element, your brain won't get the oxygen it needs to function, and you'll end up feeling tired and have trouble concentrating."
But not all iron is created equal. For instance, iron from plant foods like grains, vegetables, and beans isn't absorbed by the intestines very readily. Adding something rich in vitamin C, like red peppers, to a pasta plate causes a chemical reaction in your body that helps convert the iron in the grains to a form that's easier to absorb.
Tip: About 10 percent of your daily iron requirement can be found in 1 cup of cooked spaghetti.