Iron

What is iron?

Iron is a metal that is essential to humans, primarily because of the role it plays in mediating red blood cells in the body.

While plant-based sources of iron (non-heme iron) are metabolised differently to iron from meat (heme-iron), studies indicate that vegans are no more at risk of iron deficiency (the major symptom of which is anaemia) than the general population and can obtain their daily requirements from many plant sources, including: lentils, beans (including soy), pumpkin seeds, leafy vegetables, tofu, chickpeas, black-eyed peas, potatoes with skin, bread made from completely whole-grain flour and molasses.

Things to look out for:

Research indicates that taking enough Vitamin C is vital for proper iron absorption. If you think you have an iron deficiency, this is the first thing you should check!

Eating foods high in Vit C. with your Iron rich meal will help iron absorption. For example use freshly squeezed lemon juice in your dressings or serve lemon wedges with meals.

Calcium supplements, coffee and tea inhibit iron absorption if taken at the same time, so avoid them at meals in which you are trying to increase iron absorption.

Sources of Iron

  • Lentils, beans (including soy), pumpkin seeds, leafy vegetables, tofu, chickpeas, black-eyed peas, potatoes with skin, vegan bread made from completely whole-grain flour and molasses are good sources of iron.
  • Use freshly squeezed lemon juice in your dressings or serve lemon wedges with meals – Vit C eaten with iron rich foods helps your body absorb the iron.
FacebookTwitterEmail

You may also like...