I just went to the doctor and told him I was thinking about going vegan. Overall he was supportive, but due to my medical history, he was worried about me getting enough iron in my diet. How can I make sure that I consume enough iron and what are the best vegan sources for iron?
Generally vegans do not have trouble getting enough iron in their diets as long as they are eating a well balanced diet with lots of leafy greens and beans. Leafy green vegetables, like spinach or kale, are naturally high in iron and also provide the body with calcium and a number of other vital nutrients. Additionally, beans contain iron and are also packed with fiber and protein. According to a recent report, many vegans actually consume more iron than meat eaters since eating dairy can reduce the body’s ability to absorb iron into the bloodstream.
Specifically, some foods with high iron counts are:
- Pumpkin seeds: 4.2mg
- Dried thyme: 3.7 mg
- Blackstrap Molasses: 3.5 mg
- Sulfite Free Dried Apricots: 3.6mg
- Lentils: 3.3mg
- Potatoes: 3.2mg
- Spinach: 3.2mg
- Quinoa: 3.2mg
- Kidney beans: 2.6g
- Tempeh: 2.4mg
- Tofu: 2mg
- Black beans 1.8mg
- Tahini 1.7mg
- Broccoli 1.2mg
Looking for recipes to help increase your iron intake? Consider trying these!
- Tempeh Chili: Made in the slow cooker and perfect for cool nights. It also freezes great for quick lunches and dinners.
- Deluxe Tofu Scramble with Kale and Spinach: Pack in iron rich leafy greens in this simple tofu scramble recipe that is delicious for breakfast or dinner.
- Lentil Salad: Lentils are a terrific source of iron for vegans and this red lentil salad is a delicious way to incorporate more of it into your diet.
- Green Machine Shake: Get your iron in early with this green breakfast shake packed with iron rich greens.