Iron Sources for Vegans
Iron Sources from Plants
While vegan diets only contain non-heme iron sources, by being aware of foods that are high in iron and the techniques that can promote iron absorption. Vegan diets not only are better for your health overall, but have an abundance of nutrients that the standard American diet lacks.
Some might expect that since the vegan diet contains a form of iron that is not that well absorbed, vegans might be prone to developing iron deficiency anemia. However, research indicates that iron deficiency anemia is actually an issue for all diets- not just for vegans.
Many vegans have excellent iron levels, as our commonly eaten foods are high in iron. In fact, if the amount of iron in these foods is expressed as milligrams of iron per 100 calories, many foods eaten by vegans are superior to animal products (in nutrients and for your overall health!). For example, you would have to eat more than 1700 calories of sirloin steak to get the same amount of iron as found in 100 calories of spinach.
Vegan diets are high in vitamin C, which compliment iron sources. Vitamin C acts to markedly increase absorption of non-heme iron. Adding a vitamin C source to a meal increases non-heme iron absorption up to six-fold which makes the absorption of non-heme iron as good or better than that of heme iron.
Commonly eaten combinations, such as beans and tomato sauce or stir-fried tofu and broccoli make for excellent iron absorption! For more information on iron be sure to check out the articles 10 Best Iron Rich Foods For Kids and Iron Rich Vegan Food. The amazing resource for families, Ask A Plant Based Dietitian is another awesome way to make sure you stay on track, get 24/7 access to registered vegan dietitians and affordable meal planning.
Tags: anemia, iron, iron absorption, iron sources, nutrition, plant based iron sources, spinach, tofu, vegan iron sources, vegan nutrition, Vitamin C, vitamin c and iron, vitamins