Iron is an essential nutrient because it is a central part of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen in the blood.
Iron is found in food in two forms, heme and non-heme iron. Heme iron, which makes up 40 percent of the iron in meat, poultry, and fish, is well absorbed. Non-heme iron, 60 percent of the iron in animal tissue and all the iron in plants (fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts) is less well absorbed. Vegan diets only contain non-heme iron. Because of this, iron recommendations are higher for vegetarians (including vegans) than for non-vegetarians.
The Food and Nutrition Board has established Recommended Dietary Allowances, or RDAs, for iron and other nutrients. The RDA for iron is 8 mg for adult men, 18 mg for adult women age 50 and under, 8 mg for women over 50, 27 mg during pregnancy and 9 to 10 mg per day for women who are nursing. Lactating women under 19 years old require 10 mg of iron and adult lactating women require 9 mg of iron per day.
Here is a list with some vegan sources of iron.It is very easy to consume sufficient amounts of iron on the vegan diet. One of the best ways to consume foods high in iron is when is consumed with Vitamin C. The simplest tip is when eating spinach is to add some lemon juice with it . In that way you will make the most of your spinach.
Is possibly the most popular source of iron , not just for vegans. Here is some other sources , that you can easily add to your vegan diet.One cup of raw spinach contains 8 mg of iron but if you saute a big batch, one cup of cooked spinach contains 6.4 mg of iron.
Flax seeds are known for being high in Omega-3s but it’s also an excellent source of iron. Two tablespoons of flaxseed offers 1.2 mg of iron, and two tablespoons ground flaxseed offers .8 mg.
Soybeans are a great source of fiber and protein, but they also offer iron. Eat a cup of edamame (in the pods) to get 3.5 mg of iron .
Quinoa -This ancient whole grain is a great source of protein, but it’s also a top vegan iron source Cook up a 1/4 cup for 3.6 mg or iron.
“Green leafy vegetables and legumes (beans, peas, and lentils) are
rich in a form of iron that is more absorbable if your body needs more iron and less absorbable when your body already has plenty of iron.
Avoiding dairy products helps, because they contain virtually no iron and can actually inhibit iron absorption.” Neal D. Barnard, M.D.
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