Plant based food and iron de
Iron deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency in the world. It's the world's most common cause of anemia, and not just among veg(etari)ans.
The good news is that you can get all the iron you need from a vegan diet because there are lots of plant foods containing good amounts of this mineral.
There are lots of factors that affect the amount of iron your body can absorb from your diet
It's inhibited by plant phytates, tannins and calcium. Phytates are prominent in wheat and some other cereals. (Non herbal) tea & coffee make it difficult as well as some medication, especially acid regulatory ones...
Citrate increase iron uptake (citrus fruits, especially lemon and lime).
Vitamin C increases iron bioavailability upto six-fold(!). In this article we're gonna focus on Vitamin C.
Just a quick note for women. When menstruating, it's adviced to take 10% extra iron per day.
Plant sources of ironHere are some good sources of iron.
Don't be fooled. Even the smaller bars indicate a high iron content.
Good sources of iron ánd vitamin C
|Curly leaves kale|
|Brussels sprouts, cooked|
|Green soybeans, cooked|
A lot of spices contain iron ánd Vitamin C. However, we rather use them in small amounts. So, I listed them seperately.
Don't be shy to eat (a lot of) these nonetheless; they do add to the total!
Good sources of mainly iron
|Potato skin, cooked|
|esp. snap, wing, broad, kidney, green soybeans & chickpeas|
|Raisins, fortified breakfast cereals, ..|
It's prefered to combine these with some foods that contain Vitamin C.
Good sources of Vitamin C
peppers, guavas, black currants, cabbage, kiwifruit, oranges (juice), strawberries, pineapple, ..
Some examples of combining mainly iron and Vit C foods
- Top porridge with ground linseed and raisins, and serve with orange juice
- Eat a kiwifruit after a lentil curry
- Add broccoli to a tofu stir-fry
- Add pepper to a bean chilli
When not indicated (e.g. "cooked") the above foods Vit % is when raw, you will have to substract about half after cooking
What do the numbers above mean? Percentage of daily Iron or Vit C needs per day, per 200 kcal. ingredient. 200kcal is ± a tenth of our average daily energy need~, depending on individual needs.
So, for example, if you eat about 500g quinoa (about 600 kcal), you would get 100% of your Iron need.
Heme iron is better for absorption than inorganic iron.
But it's only found in blood and muscle tissue. Though you can get adequate iron absorped from plant-based sources.
On the other hand, heme iron absorption is not regulated by the body and is also a pro-oxidant.
As such, heme iron may increase the risk of cancer, stroke, heart disease, and metabolic syndrome, therosclerosis, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, arthritis, and other serious medical conditions.
Impossible Burger contains heme iron.
Sources & more