View Full Version : Vegan iron

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Apr 25th, 2004, 04:37 PM
Iron in the vegan diet (http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/iron.htm)

Jul 15th, 2004, 07:19 AM
I have been diagnosed with anaemia due to inadequate iron intake...any tips at all about what vegan foods have iron and how to absorb it better? I am on tablets too, but obviously can't stay on them forever!

Jul 15th, 2004, 08:10 AM
When my iron was low, the doc said the highest non-animal sources of iron are leafy green veges, legumes, plums, prunes, raisins, baked beans, peas, bananas. BUT vit C is needed to assist in absorption, and vit c is found in capsicum, cabbage, cauliflower, tomatoes, kiwi fruit, oranges, tropical fruits. The doc also pointed out that some items are to be avoided as they inhibit absorption: tea, coffee, antacids, red wine (it worked for me).

All the best banana.

Jul 15th, 2004, 11:03 AM
Has anyone mentioned blackstrap molasses? Drinking a glass of orange juice with a tbsp of molasses stirred in is meant to get your iron levels up - if you can stomach it :) The combination of the iron in the molasses and the vitamin C in the juice is ideal.

Otherwise you can wash a meal rich in iron (e.g. one containing dark green vegetables and beans) down with a glass of juice. As Eve mentioned, if you drink tea, you need to avoid having it close to a meal because that inhibits iron absorption apparently.

I also cook in a cast iron pan some of the time as this is meant to help a bit.

Jul 15th, 2004, 02:21 PM

This is a really simple, helpful link.

Sep 22nd, 2005, 07:38 AM
how do you get your iron?

ive noticed, everyone says green leafy veggies, apricots. but all of these dont have THAT high of an amount. (a cup of kale only has 7% of your daily intake) soybeans have the highest, with blackstrap mollases behind that. i only get about 75% of my iron intake daily, and although i take a high quality multivitamin, i would rather get it from food. what do you eat for your iron?

i suppose i could just add blackstrap mollases to my diet. does anyone take this and if so, what does it go well in?

Sep 22nd, 2005, 07:42 AM
oh, well i guess since its high in iron it would go great in smoothies since theyre extremely high in vitamin c :D

does anyone know the nutritional info of blackstrap mollases? i cant seem to find anything for it, but id like to know so i could moniter my iron intake.

Sep 22nd, 2005, 10:23 AM
I get iron from soy products, legumes, green leafy veggies, pasta, rice, cereal, and seed butters (and other items I cannot think of off the top of my head). It is true that just eating one of these sources per day would not fulfill your daily requirement, but the combination of them will or they will come very close. The multi-vitamin I take provides about 50% of my daily requirement coupled with the foods I consume, I think I am ok. I haven't ever shown signs of iron deficiency.

Sep 22nd, 2005, 01:00 PM
Well, I'd be real careful for men and post-menopausal women getting excessive iron, considering it causes free radical formation and excess amounts are not excreted by the body. I'd be happy with 50% of the "RDA" or whatever, considering I don't trust the people who make those governmental recommendations and my research by reading nutritional books tells me that my varied diet provides all the nutrients I need. I guess it's up to you whether you try to get more or not.

Sep 22nd, 2005, 04:58 PM
itry to eat leafy greens with orange juice..nuts etc, but also take a supplement.

Sep 22nd, 2005, 05:36 PM
i dont know how this is possible but the last time i checked (which was a while ago) i had more than the normal levels of iron in my blood?!!! weird. Well, i gess i should be pleased!:)

Nov 7th, 2005, 01:16 AM
Oh dear it apears according to my blood test that i am very deficient in iron. I am not sure how this has happened i eat broccoli parsley spinach, lots of fruits and vegies and lentils and chick peas and sprouts everyday.
any ideas? I don't actually have any symptoms i work as a physical horticulturalist and i play sport and do tai chi kung fu everyday.
Who else is deficient? what should I do . I don't really want to take supplements does anyone have any advice? I'm alos deficient in B12 but that is usual for me maybe that is a factor?

Nov 7th, 2005, 01:23 AM
I believe that lack of B12 can cause anemia. So get yourself some B12 supplements and get tested again in few months to see if it worked. Good luck!

Nov 7th, 2005, 01:24 AM
And make sure you eat your iron-rich foods with Vitamin C.

Nov 7th, 2005, 01:39 AM
Have you asked anyone on here for advice after posting your typical daily food?

Have you plugged in your food into Fitday.com?

Also, it could be due to absorbability problems, not necessarily intake.

Nov 7th, 2005, 03:47 AM
u should probably increase the amount of iron ur taking in, having vitamin c with it. spinach can sometimes block the absorbtion of iron. also do not get a lot of calcium during the same meal as the iron. too much physical activity can definately add to anemia, it destroys blood cells, especially the more intense the workout. finally, b12 deficiency adds to anemia as well, and since there r no reliable plant sources to get it from, it is very important to take a vegetarian supplement that contains it...

Nov 7th, 2005, 04:28 AM
thanks for your replies, yes have done fit day.com and am getting more then rdi from my diet. I have been deficient in b12 before and had injections to get it back up so i will get some supplement s for that. Maybe it is all the exercise i do that is contibuting i have never been low in iron before. um do you think being on the pill could have some effect? I think it is definitely affecting my b12 absorbtion. I eat so much vitamin c. maybe i should cut down on spinach and try not to have calcium rich foods with iron foods. but aren't they both in most green vegies? what are good iron foods? what inhibits iron absorbtion?

Nov 7th, 2005, 04:43 AM
some good iron foods r whole grains, legumes, some nuts, apricots, figs...umm i can't really think of many more off the top of my head. i've heard things about the pill and anemia before, but i can't remember the specifics on it... yes, often foods high in iron are high in calcium as well, but when possible, do not consume the two together... i hope it all works out for u!

Nov 7th, 2005, 04:58 AM
Foods which decrease iron uptake (from the "becoming vegetarian" book)
1) tannin-containing beverages
black tea, oriental green tea, coffee. Most herbal teas have no tannin.
2)milk and cheese
iron in spinach bound to oxalates, making it largely unavailable. Also found in rhubarb, swiss chard, chocolate.
brocolli, kale, oriental greens (e.g bok choy) provide abundant FREE iron.
5)soy products

Try to decrease 1 - 5 when u eat meals high in iron, to prevent less iron being absorbed.

Nov 7th, 2005, 05:01 AM
ok I don't drink tea or coffee, I don't eat any soy products.
spinach is the only food on the list that i eat.
i love broccoli and chinese greens,
what are phytates?

Nov 7th, 2005, 05:09 AM
o ya, i forgot, caffiene can add to mal-absorption as well

Nov 7th, 2005, 05:38 AM
Phytates are the storage form of phosphorus in seeds and are associated with the fiber in raw whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. Phytates, particularly in raw foods such as wheat bran, have been a concern because they can bind a portion of the iron, zinc and calcium in foods, making the minerals unavailable for absorption. However, during specific food preparation processes such as soaking in water (as with legumes, oats and bulgur), the yeast raising of bread doughs, and in the sprouting of seeds and legumes, these phytates are destroyed by enzymes called phytases. The roasting of nuts also decreases phytate levels... (adapted from "becoming vegetarian" by V.Melina, B.Davis, and V. Harrison)

Nov 7th, 2005, 06:00 AM
A list of foods with iron

Nov 7th, 2005, 08:42 AM
I got severly anaemic once - I was on booster iron tablets for 6 months. Now I maintain my iron intake with figs, dates, Asian greens and tahini.

Nov 7th, 2005, 01:14 PM
Iron deficiency is common for young women - we bleed during menstruation and lose iron. I'm sorry you don't want to take a supplement since there are definitely vegan options. If you have required B12 injections in the past then I don't know that B12 supplements would work - if you are one of the few who don't absorb B12 in your digestive tract then you may be looking at occasional injections.

I hope you get your iron levels up to normal soon. Iron deficiency can definitely make you feel tired and cranky. Good luck. :)