Vegan Foods High in Iron
According to a World Health Organization (WHO) report, Iron Deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency in the world.
- More than 80% of people in the world suffer from Iron Deficiency
- 30% of people have Anemia due to prolonged Iron Deficiency
Part of our mission with Vegan Health Pack is to help provide nutrient-dense foods that contain plant-based sources of Iron and other essential nutrients that many people go deficient in.
The Risk of Iron Deficiency for Vegans
Iron is a mineral in the body that is used to make hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that allows them to carry oxygen around the body.
When you don't get enough iron, your body's levels of hemoglobin get reduced and therefore your tissues and muscles won't get enough oxygen to work properly.
Iron derived from animal sources is referred to as Heme Iron, which is more readily and easily absorbed into the body.
For those of us who choose not to consume animal products due to environmental, animal welfare, and other health-related reasons - the iron we consume from plants is Non-Heme Iron.
Daily Recommended Intake of Iron for Vegans
According to the National Institutes of Health Consumer Guidelines for Healthy Iron Intake, the amount of iron you need each day depends on your age, gender, and whether you're on a plant-based diet. The average daily recommended amounts are listed below in milligrams (mg). Vegetarians who do not eat meat, poultry, or seafood need almost twice as much iron as listed in the table below because the body doesn’t absorb non-heme iron in plant foods as well as heme iron in animal products.
Important Note: These figures are for animal-derived iron intake. Consult with your doctor to determine what levels of iron intake are right for you because you can both have too little and too much iron in your system.
Common Signs & Symptoms of Iron Deficiency
While many people who have low levels of iron may not experience and signs or symptoms, common ones include:
- Shortness of Breath
- Heart Palpitations
- Restless Legs
- Feelings of Anxiousness
- Cold hands and Feed, and
- Other signs and symptoms not listed here.
Source for Iron Deficiency Symptoms: Mayoclinic
According to the NIH, when left untreated, anemia can lead to more serious health problems.
- Severe Fatigue
- Complications in Pregnancy
- Heart Problems, and
The NIH also warns about the potential danger of Iron supplements for healthy individuals. Iron can also be dangerous if you get too much of it. Taking higher doses of iron supplements can cause an upset stomach, constipation, nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, and fainting.
Many people who are Iron deficient may not experience any symptoms and there are many underlying causes of Iron Deficiency outside of diet alone. This includes surgery, loss of blood, menstruation, childbirth, and impaired absorption.
The information we present to you is from our own research and insights. It is important to realize this is not a complete list and consult with a medical health professional to see if getting lab work, supplementation, or dietary/lifestyle changes are right for you.
Food Sources with High Vegan Iron Content
Fortunately, there is an abundance of Vegan foods that are high in Iron.
Our Plant-Based Iron Sources Vegan Health Pack is loaded up with delicious foods to help you increase your Iron intake. Lime twisted cashews, non-fortified nutritional yeast, sprouted lentils, and sprouted pumpkin seeds.
Check out our product listing to try one out for yourself today.
Enhancers of Iron Absorption (Good)
The body has a complex way of functioning.
Some foods help increase the absorption of iron into your body and it is recommended to consume certain foods along with iron in your meals.
For example, eat a salad with peppers and tomatoes with lentils. Or drink some orange juice with fortified breakfast cereal.
Here are some common foods and beverages that enhance (vitamin C, beta-carotene, allium etc.) and inhibit (tannins, calcium etc.) the absorption of iron. It's a good idea to pair the enhancers with vegan foods that are high in iron such as white beans, lentils, spinach, kidney beans, chickpeas, peas, potatoes and tofu.
- Citrus Fruits: such as oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, kiwis, guava, papaya, pineapple, melons, and mangoes.
Inhibitors of Iron Absorption (Bad)
Certain foods contain Calcium (including milk and broccoli), caffeine and Dairy make their way on the list as well. For a more detailed list, view this article on the National Institutes of Health website.
Vegan Health Pack Iron Rich Foods
As mentioned earlier, Vegan Health Pack has a dedicated box that delivers all-natural plant-based sources of Iron to you.
Currently, our pack includes the following:
- Sprouted Lentils
- Dried Figs
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Cashew Nuts
- Edamame Pasta
Product Featured in this article
Iron Pack (Plant-Based Foods)
80% of the World Population Suffers from Inadequate Iron Levels & 30% Have Anemia from Prolonged Iron Deficiency
Iron from plant foods may not be absorbed as easily or completely as iron found from animal products. Therefore Vegans, Vegetarians, and people on Plant-Based Diets may need double the...