As in all diets, iron is essential; providing you’re wanting to save yourself from iron deficiencies that can very well lead to anaemia. Despit e the common misconception, it isn’t hard for someone of a veggie or vegan diet to properly fill their body with plant-powered iron. In fact, by calorie, iron intake is higher by vegetables (so you have no excuse).
A lot of us don’t think what these amazing, individual nutrients are doing to aid our body, and often don’t consider how our body will suffer if we starve ourselves of these nutrients, such as iron. Aiding transportation of oxygen, eradicating tiredness, helping metabolize your vegan proteins and producing haemoglobins & red blood cells , our bodies are much better off with a good dose of iron each day.
The recommended intake for iron for men is 8-10mg,
which for example looks like a cup of cooked soybeans and a handful of sunflower seeds. For women, the recommended 15-18mg could be 1 cup chickpeas with ½ cup kidney beans, 1 cup spinach and several squares of dark chocolate. However, for pregnant women, it is a considerably higher amount of 27mg… that’s a lot of dark chocolate.
You can find high quantities of iron in dark leafy greens, soy-products, whole-grains, broccoli, sprouts/sprouted food, lentils, nuts/seeds and pulses such as kidney, white, black beans and chickpeas. Or even grabbing a sourdough sandwich filled with damn good leafy greens and hummus. Mhm.
Vegan iron-rich foods are in abundance and combining them with Vitamin C is vital in iron absorption, helping your body consume the nutrients effectively.
Alas, the world we live in will never be straightforward, this time the complication comes in the form of iron blockers. There are foods we are likely to consume everyday that reduce our iron absorption. Firstly being Tannins, which are found in tea leaves, red wine/red grapes, various berries and coffee. Although tannins have many benefits, consuming high level tannin foods can reduce iron absorption by 50% up to an hour before or after eating an iron-rich meal. Phytates that are found in some wheats and beans, can also reduce absorption. Yet by soaking, fermenting, sprouting and cooking you can reduce the phytate rate.
For iron inspiration, check out our delicious recipes and getting eating…