Iron In A Vegan Diet

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.

Iron Man and WALL-E

Your body needs iron to be healthy and strong. It is needed to make proteins, such as haemoglobin and myoglobin. Popeye, however, wasn’t entirely accurate; while spinach does contain iron, it doesn’t have significant amounts of it – just 2.71mg in 100g[1], in fact!

Some iron-rich foods are other dark green leafy veg, dark chocolatesweet potatoes, peas, tofu, dried fruit – raisins, dates, figs, prunes and apricots, molasses, beans, artichokes, pumpkin and pumpkin seeds (these are great sprinkled on top of your morning cereal or porridge).

Here are some more suggestions, complete with levels:

Food: Fortified cereals
Serving: 40 g
Iron (mg): Varies according to brands: Grape-Nuts and Raisin Bran are amongst the highest, with up to 12 mg per serving

Food: Baked beans
Serving: Half a tin
Iron (mg): 2.5

Food: Spaghetti
Serving: Medium-sized serving
Iron (mg): 1.3

Food: Kidney beans
Serving: Quarter of a tin
Iron (mg): 2


The US National Institutes of Health RDA
[2] varies depending on your age and sex: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 GP. They may decide to take a blood test and recommend supplementation if your iron levels are low.

  • All age groups of men and postmenopausal women – 8 mg/day
  • Premenopausal women – 18 mg/day
  • The median dietary intake of iron is approximately 16 to 18 mg/day for men and 12 mg/day for women.

References

[1] https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/11457

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/.

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