Vegan Diet | How To Get Enough Iron

vegan diet sources of iron -- freshnlean.com - image

A vegan must make sure to be certain that adequate iron intake is present in the diet. Iron is an essential mineral and is a component of hemoglobin, the pigment in blood that carries oxygen throughout the body. The recommended daily intake of iron varies by age and gender, 18 mg in women 19-50 years, 8 mg in men 19-50 years, and 8 mg in all adults over 50 years.

Vegan diets contain only non-heme iron. The challenge for vegans is to consume adequate amounts of iron in a form that can be utilized efficiently. If you feel you need to supplement, it can be daunting to find and choose non-heme iron. Iron content of vegan meals may be similar to non-vegan meals, there will likely be less iron available for absorption in the vegan meal because of chemical differences inherent to the iron found in these non-meat sources.

One adaptation that the body will make to chronically low iron stores is that it will use less iron. Therefore, some of the disadvantages of lower iron absorption in vegans are offset by the body limiting the use of iron. Yet vegetarians and especially vegans still remain at high risk for iron deficiency. The vegan should become aware of the best dietary sources of iron and regularly incorporate them into the diet. Some of the best vegan sources of iron are listed below, along with the amount of iron (mg) found in each serving.

Keep in mind that the following vitamin rich foods can be used in juicing recipes for a glass of the best liquid vitamins ever.

 

  • Breads, Cereals, and Grains
  • Cream of wheat, 10
  •     Bran flakes, 8
  •     Quinoa, 4
  •     Oatmeal, 2
  •     Fruits
  •     Prune juice, 3
  •     Dried apricots, 2
  •     Dried figs, 2
  •     Raisins, 2
  •     Vegetables
  •     Cooked spinach, 6
  •     Cooked mushrooms, 3
  •     Baked potato, 2
  •     Legumes
  •     Soybeans, 9
  •     Tofu, 7
  •     Lentils, 7
  • Beans (kidney, lima, pinto), 4-5
  •     Nuts and Seeds
  •     Sunflower seeds, 2
  •     Cashews, 2

 

Attainment of iron from vegan dietary sources is much safer than supplements. Generally, vegans can attain adequate iron levels and maintain sufficient stores in the body if they consume a wide variety of iron-rich foods and time the intake of these foods around consumption of other foods that enhance, not limit, iron absorption.

 


 

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