Your body needs iron to be healthy and strong. It is needed to make proteins, such as haemoglobin and myoglobin. Here’s where to find it as a vegan (and it’s not all about spinach….)
Vegan sources of iron
It shouldn’t prove too tricky getting enough iron as a vegan, as it’s found plentifully in many foods. Some of the best sources are:
- Dark green leafy vegetables
- Dark chocolate
- Sweet potatoes
- Dried fruits (raisins, dates, prunes, figs, apricots)
- Pumpkin and pumpkin seeds
How much iron do I need?
In India, the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for Iron varies, depending on your age and sex
Adult male: 17mg
Adult female: 21mg
Pregnant women: 35mg
Nursing women: 21mg
A very small percentage of women develop iron-deficiency anaemia – this is especially the case with endurance runners, or women with heavy periods. If you have concerns about your iron levels, please visit your doctor. They may decide to take a blood test and recommend supplementation if your iron levels are low.
How to get enough iron
- A great way to guarantee you’re absorbing enough iron from plant foods is to eat a significant source of vitamin C with meals (such as an orange or orange juice), and avoid tea and coffee when eating.
- Don’t accept nutrition advice from Popeye. While spinach does contain iron, it doesn’t have significant amounts of it – just 2.71mg in 100g, in fact!